Good Neighbours: Motorcyclists rev up for Ride to Live

More than 600 motorcyclists will saddle up today to participate in the annual Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live fundraiser to fight prostate cancer. Owners of softails will ride side-by-side with riders on cruisers and sport bikes, some coming from as far away as Ontario. The charity ride is the biggest in British Columbia.

Besides raising funds, the event is also meant to raise awareness of prostate cancer. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Prostate Centre, a Vancouver Island community-based health organization that provides services and treatment information for those diagnosed with the disease.

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People can raise money by participating, supporting a rider with pledges or making a donation.

This year, all of the motorcycle shops on lower Vancouver Island will participate in the ride.

The event starts at 8:55 a.m. at Slegg Lumber, 2901 Sooke Rd. in Langford. The assembled riders then proceed to Fountain Tire on Langford Parkway for breakfast. From there, riders can choose to stop at a number of locations in the city. Then they make their way to their final destination at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

The closing ceremony takes place at the centre at 2 p.m. with a barbecue lunch and music to follow.

Last-minute registrations can be made this morning from 7:30 to 8:15. For more information, go to vi-ridetolive.ca.

Cridge Centre makes the grade

The Cridge Centre for the Family was recently accredited under Imagine Canada’s national standards program.

The charity, which has served Greater Victoria residents for 140 years, is one of only two local charities to have successfully completed the Imagine Canada accreditation process.

The standards program is a Canada-wide set of shared standards for charities and non-profits designed to demonstrate their compliance in five fundamental areas: board governance, financial accountability and transparency, fundraising, staff management and volunteer involvement. It helps organizations mitigate risk by ensuring that staff and volunteers understand and meet their legal, financial and fiduciary responsibilities.

“As the oldest continuously operating charity in Western Canada, we are bursting our buttons with pride at achieving accreditation under Imagine Canada’s new national standards,” CEO Shelley Morris said. “Our commitment to accountability, transparency and excellence in management and service is reflected in achieving accreditation.”

For more information, go to cridge.org.

24-hour relay raises funds for camp

People can cheer teams of runners and walkers from across Vancouver Island as they complete the 19th annual Vancouver Island Money Mart Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay for the Kids today at 10 a.m.

The relay teams, representing recreational groups, corporations and small businesses, began running Saturday.

Expect to be greeted by a fun, festive atmosphere as teams wind up their walk or run around Ring Road and inside Centennial Stadium at the University of Victoria. In addition to the action on the track, participants can take part in camping, volleyball and soccer and wind down at the beer garden. There will be food vendors, a kids’ zone, on-site massage, late-night movies and a performance by a local rock band.

The relay is the culmination of months of fundraising to support the operation of Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan, a specialized summer camping program for Island children with disabilities. The relay has raised more than $8 million since its inception in 1995. For more information, go to 24hourrelay.com.

Give safety boots, put people to work

A pair of safety boots can mean the difference between employment and poverty. But the cost of buying approved footwear can be prohibitive to those who are looking for work.

To help break down that barrier, the Salvation Army, in partnership with Capital Iron, is hosting the third annual Breaking Down Barriers Work Boot Drive until July 15.

People are asked to donate a new or gently used pair of work boots that will enable the Salvation Army to restore dignity to those they serve. Recipients of the boots can also benefit by enrolling in other Salvation Army programs, such as employment counselling, job-skills training and computer literacy.

With secure employment, clients typically report a reduction of financial stress, an increased sense of dignity and, more importantly, hope for the future.

Work boots can be donated at Salvation Army locations at 2695 Quadra St. or 525 Johnson St. or at Capital Iron, 1900 Store St. Capital Iron will offer 20 per cent off the purchase of new work boots with every used pair donated. For more information, go to salvationarmy.ca.

Hospital gift shop opens after renos

The gift shop in the Saanich Peninsula Hospital has reopened after a major renovation. The facility now features new décor with improved displays and a larger inventory.

The gift shop is staffed by members of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary. Profits from the shop and other initiatives allow the non-profit group of volunteers to add to the comfort of patients and residents in the hospital.

The group has raised more than $1.3 million since its inception. The funds have been used to purchase two buses, medical equipment and furnishings for the hospital. The group also awards two bursaries to post-secondary students entering a medical field of study. For more information, contact Linda Snelling at lindasnelling@shaw.ca.

Big Brothers mark 100 years with run

Volunteer board members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria, including one in his 70s, will be running 100 kilometres around Thetis Lake today in honour of 100 years of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Canada.

The Big Run — 100K for 100 Years will see members of the organization, their families and friends run one at a time around the lake. The first 10-kilometre lap will be run by Ted Yeates, a senior board member who led the fundraiser. The event starts at 7 a.m. For more information, go to bbbsvictoria.com.

TD makes pledge for hospital training

TD Bank Group last week announced a five-year, $125,000 pledge to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Building Care Together campaign to help deliver training initiatives to the Patient Care Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Through its TD Grants in Medical Excellence, the bank will donate $25,000 a year to support essential training for more than 1,200 nurses; fund employee development in critical care, infection prevention and control and medication reconciliation; and support seamless and successful aboriginal patient care transitions.

“The Patient Care Centre is a leading-edge hospital that attracts exceptional medical professionals,” said Leslee Farrell, co-chairwoman of the campaign.

“TD Grants in Medical Excellence will benefit many of these care providers and educators. For more than a decade, TD has shown their commitment to quality healthcare at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and we remain thankful for their continued support.”

The Building Care Together campaign has received pledges totalling almost $13 million, more than halfway to the goal of raising $25 million for staff training and medical equipment for the centre.

Island-long trek wraps up at Mile 0

Look out for Yana Hempler over the next few days as she finishes her 495-kilometre run down the length of Vancouver Island.

The local personal trainer is on a mission to raise funds for three local charities: the B.C. SPCA, Recreation Integration Victoria and Mustard Seed Food Bank. Hempler’s Run for Their Lives 2013 left Port Hardy on June 2 to Victoria.

The 23-year-old University of Victoria graduate expects to reach Mile 0 in Victoria on Tuesday.

She hopes to raise $5,000 through donations and pledges.

For more information, go to www.runfortheirlives2013.com.

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