Motorcyclists gather for a good cause

The event might have been a couple months later than expected, but the local Bikers Against Diabetes (BAD) crew was able to raise money for young people with diabetes at its annual rodeo.

The rodeo was held on Aug. 4 at a field northeast of Bienfait that the club has named Stanley Park. Around 75 people attended this year’s rodeo, and about 35 to 40 motorcycles were on the grounds for the rodeo.

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The event was supposed to be held in June, but it had to be postponed due to a severe thunderstorm that rolled through southeast Saskatchewan the day before.

In a normal year, the rodeo attracts 65-70 motorcycles and 150-180 people will be present.

Event spokesperson Shawn Vermeeren said they wanted to have more people for the rodeo, but organizers expected attendance to be down because it was a rescheduled event, and it was on the August long weekend.

“Everyone that was there had a good time,” said Vermeeren.

Motorcycle games were held during the afternoon. Participation was up this year, he said, even though the number of people at the rodeo was down. A joust, a slow race and a keg roll were among the games offered.

And while the games can be challenging, there weren’t any incidents.

 “We tried a couple of new games. One of them was called animal rescue in which a passenger on the bike had to pick up stuffed animals from the ground with a fishnet. It was well-received.”

They had also bicycle games for children.

The BAD crew has about 20 games for motorcycles, and they usually have 10 or 12 for participants each year.

A pig roast to celebrate the 10th anniversary was also well-attended. As an added bonus, Vermeeren and his fiancée were married just before the roast, and the wedding went well.

Vermeeren said the BAD crew wanted to ensure they had an event this year, because they want to continue helping children with Type 1 diabetes attend a camp operated by Diabetes Canada. The Saskatchewan camp is at Christopher Lake in the northern part of the province.

“Diabetes Canada hosts that camp every year, and we help the children whose parents can’t afford the parental fees for that camp,” said Vermeeren. “In an average year, we send four to six kids to that camp.”

Vermeeren is confident they will be able to send three or four youths to the camp this year.

 

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