May 21st, 2024

Bikers and bears support kids in hospital

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Motorcyclists pull out of Honkers Pub with teddy bears on board this past Saturday during the Teddy Bear Parade and Motorcycle Awareness Ride.

Bikers revved their throttles for the annual Southern Alberta Bikers’ Teddy Bear Parade and Motorcycle Awareness Ride in support of the Child Life Services at Chinook Regional Hospital on Saturday.

More than 100 motorbikes were ridden from Honkers Pub on the city’s northside to Chinook Regional Hospital carrying toys and teddies on board which filled a couple of bins at the hospital before riders set off on a poker run, with most proceeds going to Child Life Services and different charities in the region.

“It’s hard as a child to be in a hospital alone and it’s not an easy time for a child,” said Dallas Harty, Southern Alberta Bikers president.

“It’s unanimous with the bike clubs to support the children. There’s that stigma about bikers. So to be able to break that stigma and support the kids and put a smile on their face. The feedback we get and what not from this event is so heartwarming. It’s just something you can’t help but enjoy doing.”

Hardy said the turnout was one of the bigger ones in a long time.

“We’re just ecstatic about the way the day went,” said Harty.

Harty noticed it was a bigger gathering of teddy bears this year compared to other years.

“It’s pretty heartwarming,” said Harty.

“You see a big, tough motorbike guy riding down the street with a bunch of teddy bears on his bike, it puts a grin on your face that’s for sure.”

Mark Easthope rode in from Cardston for the event.

“I think anytime a group can get together to support kids, there’s nothing better because kids are vulnerable, kids are scared, and this is something that can just really help them get over some of that anxiety that hospitals and other kind of services like that put upon a child,” said Easthope.

While he is used to riders bringing one or two bears, Easthope thought he saw seven or eight strapped on to a bike.

“It was really awesome to see,” said Easthope.

“They’re sick, they’re disadvantaged and we’re just there to support them,” said Greg Flom.

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