The first edition of what organizers hope will become an annual event – a Yarmouth-based motorcycle fundraiser for colon cancer research, billed as Rollin’ for Colon – is scheduled for the weekend of July 20-22.
Sharon Robart-Johnson. Eric Bourque photo
The main day is set for Saturday (July 21), when participating bikers will go on a tour along the south shore, cut across to the Annapolis Valley and then return to Yarmouth. The plan is to have a bus do the tour at the same time and organizers hope cancer survivors will take part.
Event spokesperson Sharon Robart-Johnson says there could be a good turnout of bikers if the weather is okay.
The tour is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and there will be a lunch break in Liverpool. The day will end at the Yarmouth Lions Club hall with supper and the presentation of prizes.
The Lions hall will be the site of the weekend’s opening activities on Friday (July 20), where participants will be treated to a seafood chowder and entertainment. There also will be an auction.
The Lions hall also will be the setting Saturday morning for a biker breakfast, a fundraiser for the Lions Club.
The weekend will wrap up Sunday morning (July 22) with a breakfast for bikers, again at the Lions hall.
Interviewed about the event last week, Robart-Johnson said there seems to be a good deal of interest, judging from the number of hits on the Rollin’ for Colon website.
The main goal is to raise money for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, she said, but a secondary goal is to be able to offer a free bus tour to people who have battled or who are dealing with cancer. Organizers want to hear from businesses or individuals who are prepared to sponsor seats for the bus tour. As of July 4, there remained plenty of sponsorship opportunities.
“The bus will actually be leading the tour and it’s the Mariners’ bus so it’s a nice, air-conditioned motor coach, comfortable, and we’re really hoping to fill that bus,” Robart-Johnson said. “So far we’ve had 13 businesses and individuals who have sponsored seats and I am looking for more.”
A cancer fundraiser involving bikers in another part of Nova Scotia helped provide the inspiration for this new event, says Rollin’ for Colon spokesperson Sharon Robart-Johnson.
Asked how the idea for the event took shape, she recalled learning about Gord’s Ride 4 the Cure, a biker fundraiser for breast cancer in Cape Breton. As she checked out their website, she said, she wondered why a similar event couldn’t be held at this end of the province.
“There are a lot of fundraisers for breast cancer,” she said. “There are (many events) for prostate cancer, so I didn’t want to duplicate anything. I started researching online to find out if there were any motorcycle rides for colon cancer … They do golf tournaments, they do walks, they do bicycle (events), they do barbecues, but I could not find a motorcycle fundraiser for them, so I said ‘well, let’s do up a colon cancer (event).’ And colon cancer’s a big problem.”
As for the name, she says she borrowed part of it, with permission, from an event in the United States.
Aside from their main goal of raising money for colon cancer research – along with offering a free bus tour to cancer survivors – organizers of the Rollin’ for Colon event want to establish a fundraiser that has a strong future.
“We hope to be doing this for many years to come,” Robart-Johnson said.