The Ride for Dad made the Ault Arena in Winchester its final stop. Among the more than 700 motorcycle riders was Pat and Tony McDermott and their fellow travellers, Valkrie and Nelson the pup. Nelson had his own special spot on the bike and Valkrie has a spacious trailer to ride in. Morin Photo

WINCHESTER – This year’s Ride for Dad picked up right where it left off before Covid arrived. The big day for motorcycle riders was Sat., June 4.

The ride was first run in 2000 and the Ottawa chapter of Ride for Dad has raised over $7 million for the fight against prostate cancer.

Tina Gibson, co-chair of the event said it takes around 100 volunteers to make it all work. This was the first normal ride in two years. The Ault Arena in Winchester was packed with more than 700 people as riders from across Eastern Ontario made the ride that began in Ottawa, went to Almonte and Smiths Falls, Spencerville and finally ending at Winchester.

A Kemptville band called Rosewood played away the afternoon on a sound stage donated to the event by Jam Production from Kemptville. The band made up of Herb Cloutier, Peter Johnson and Gord Hartley welcomed the riders with a great musical afternoon. The participants enjoyed a poker run with prizes, great food from several vendors and a look at what eight vendors had for sale inside the arena.

Many riders had fun bringing their own special touch to the ride. A group of 25 motorcyclists from an Ottawa group called The Litas included Jennifer Steiger who was enjoying a day of bachelorette fun. She covered her riding gear with a wedding gown for the occasion as she and her friends took part in the ride. A couple from Ottawa brought their dogs along for the ride, which made for an interesting sight for fellow riders who all stopped to say hello to the dogs.

Best Poker Hand was 4 Kings and was held by Brian Walters of Perth who won a $2,500 gift certificate from Freedom Harley-Davidson of Ottawa.

The Mystery Poker Hand worth $1,000 in cash was won by Stuart Finley of Ottawa.

The top fundraising team took the Brew Donkey package and was Team Wheel Wheel Rock You. They raised close to $12,000 in pledges. Special mention went to the team’s pledge leader, Brent Fishman who contributed a total of $6,923.

Winchester’s Vince Zanbelt raised $3,610. Dennis Jackson raised $8,293, Rahul Kochar raised $6,116.40 while Tony Jones raised $3,600 and Dwight Delahunt raised $4,362.

The top fundraising teams were Wheel Wheel Rock You with $11,945.70, Ken’s Komrades with $6,386.90, CMC011 with $4,859.50, Nav Canada Riders with $3,102.40, Epiphan Video with $1,757, and Team Kraken with $1,690.

The 50/50 winning ticket number was 738088 taking home $254.50.

The quilt set winning ticket number was 918870.

Winners of the Silent Auction items are in the process of being contacted and the winner of the $500 gift certificate from Hometown Sports Grill, a random draw from all registered participants is still to be announced.