By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – The roar of engines echoed for miles as dozens of motorcyclists gathered Saturday for the fifth Cruise for Hospice.
Over 80 bikers clad in leather, Harley Davidson gear, and colourful tattoos filled the Royal Canadian Legion parking lot in Cornwall.
The riders embraked on a scenic ride across the region, through Morrisburg, Iroquiois, Burritts Rapids, South Mountain, Martintown, and back to the Legion.
Chris Ruhl, a member of the Seaway Lions Club in Cornwall and Stormont, was back for the second time to support the cause and enjoy the fellowship.
“It’s a great ride for a great cause,” said Ruhl.
Last year, the event raised $12,000 for Hospice Cornwall.
Sandy Collette, fundraising coordinator for Carefor Hospice Cornwall, said the annual cruise is special because many of the participants have had family members pass away in the hospice’s care.
Dave Villeneuve created the event to honour his father who spent his last days at there.
“Bikers tend to pull together,” said Collette. “That’s why this event is one of our major fundraisers.”
To celebrate the fifth anniversary, organizers added a poker spin.
Riders were given a playing card at each of the five stops, along with directions to the next mystery stop. The best hand at the end of the cruise wins a prize at the closing dinner, held at the Legion.
The hospice’s annual operational budget is $1.4 million. Collette and her team of volunteers must raise $500,000 of it.
Collette said events organized by the community are the lifeblood of the hospice.
To learn more about Hospice Cornwall, visit cornwallhospice.com.