A convoy of motorcycles, vintage vehicles and other community cars is set to take to Cloverdale’s streets on Saturday, June 15 for the sixth-annual Brenden’s Ride.
The fundraiser is organized by Brenden Parker, 23, and his dad, Baron, to support programs that empower people with disabilities.
For the second year in a row, riders will start the day with breakfast in Cloverdale and travel to a lunch and live music performance at Grouse Mountain, in support of Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS).
VASS works to make the slopes accessible to everyone, providing instructors and adaptive equipment to persons with a disability so that they can participate in snowboarding, sit-ski, stand-up skiing or advanced adaptive ski racing.
In 2018, the fundraiser collected more than $41,000, and made a significant impact on hundreds of people who were hoping to participate in the program. Brenden’s Ride’s donation took the waiting list from 250 to less than 30.
“It allowed them to take on more volunteers, train them, and buy more equipment,” said Baron.
“The big thing is training the volunteers,” he said. “It’s not cheap.”
For Brenden, it’s important to give back to a program that has supported him; he has sit-skied with the VASS program for about five years.
VASS has given Brenden “hours of thrills as he sit-ski’s down the hill at speeds that it’s best his parents don’t know about,” according to brendensride.ca.
When the Reporter spoke to him, Brenden said that being up on the slopes of Seymour and Grouse, looking over the Lower Mainland, was hard to beat.
“On a beautiful, good day, it’s so nice to be up on the mountains,” he said.
Organizers are hoping for about 200 people to come out for the ride this year. All are welcome to participate, whether they ride a motorcycle or drive the family van.
Riders and drivers start off with a hot breakfast at Rusty’s Neighbourhood Pub in Cloverdale (17770 56 Ave.) at 8 a.m. before heading to Grouse Mountain. Participants then ride the gondola to the top of Grouse, where there will be live entertainment, a silent auction and lunch.
The $35 ticket includes everything. Not only is it a great deal — the value of the gondola alone would usually run $56 — participants can rest assured knowing that 100 per cent of their ticket money goes directly to VASS.
“Every penny goes to the charity,” said Baron.
That’s because everything that a registered rider receives — from the bacon and eggs at Rusty’s to the gondola ride up the mountain — is donated. It’s due to the support of great sponsors, and their staff, explained Baron.
Both Baron and Brenden would like to beat last year’s fundraising total, and Brenden said that he’d like to double the donation and take in $80,000.
It’s a “good chunk of change,” he said, but it’s not out of reach. Over the past five years, Brenden’s Ride has raised more than $120,000 for programs that support individuals with disabilities.