By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - The annual Bike-A-Thon Plus delivered a summerâs worth of entertainment Saturday, to help support the Childrenâs Treatment Centre (CTC).
© Adam Brazeau
Janet Inouye (left) and Bea Jones.
A series of 14 events with vintage cars, horses, motorcycles, and Celtic singers drew hundreds from across eastern Ontario to St. Lawrence College in Cornwall.
Organizers said over $100,000 has been raised so far, which is on par with last yearâs amount of $110,000.
The eventâs co-chair, Don Fairweather who is the collegeâs dean, said there's a real need for the free services provided by the CTC in the Cornwall area, including the counties and Akwesasne.
"For the community to recognize the value of the centre and the staff...it's very gratifying," said Fairweather.
The CTC is a non-profit organization committed to the prevention and treatment of physical and sexual abuse against children. It opened in 1996. The Bike-A-Thon Plus started the next year strictly as a cycling event.
Now it includes a car rally, walk-a-thon, ceremonial walk, motorcycle ride, childrenâs activities (face painting and magic), seniorsâ walk, and family fun run.
Thiy year, The Brigadoons and the MacCulloch Highland Dancers provided the entertainment.
To help others move forward down the long road of recovery, Bea Jones, 87, and Janet Inouye, 70, cycled 50 kilometres.
The pair of golden girls pedaled up and down the bike paths of the St. Lawrence River reminiscing while raising funds. The cycling seniors constantly compete in multi-sports events to keep fit and support charities.
Jones, a Cornwall native and retired local high school teacher, said the secret to staying forever young is staying active.
âYou have to keep moving,â said Jones.
She commended the centre for their role in helping 2,100 local children and families find hope in their time of despair.
âWe have to protect them, they are our citizens of tomorrow," she said.
But it was clear Inouye, who lived in Cornwall for 40 years before moving to Ottawa, had a deep sympathy for victims of abuse.
"This event helps break the perpetual cycle," said Inouye.