History of the GVMC "Ride For The Kids" formerly the GVMC Gord Heppler Memorial Run
Gord Heppler Memorial Run
The Gord Heppler Memorial Run was started twenty-three years ago by his wife Jackie Heppler with the sponsorship of the Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club. The loving memory of her husband’s enthusiasm for motorcycling and his love of children led her to start the Run to help those children fighting to have a life free from cancer. Gord was a long time active member of the Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club who died of cancer on May 21, 1992 at the age of 44.
The first Gord Heppler Memorial Run was held in 1993. There was a good turn out for the first Run and every year the participation has increased. The Run includes a ride through awesome, winding back roads, remote farmlands, and scenic mountains all in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The ride usually lasts about three hours ending up at a final destination for a barbecue and warm camaraderie. All those who are registered for the Run are tracked as they check in at the check points where they do activities for points towards prizes at the end. If any one does not check in at the end of the Run a round up crew is sent out.
Working with the social workers at the Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital Jackie each year designates what that year’s proceeds from the Run will be spent on. The support of the motorcycling world in the past years has allowed them to purchase home infusion units, portable monitored and metered I.V. machines, T.V’s, V.C.R.’s, and videos to help inform the children as to what is happening to them and what is being done for them. They also purchased some entertainment videos to try to help take the children’s minds of their fears and often painful treatments that they must endure.
Nineteen years ago, Jackie was asked by the social workers if the Run would sponsor a Courage Award Trophy which would be given to each child when they had completed their treatment whether that treatment had been successful or not as just facing the treatment takes a lot of courage. They felt that the children’s emotional well being was just as important as their medical well being. Regrettably, not all of the children have survived their treatments but Jackie has been informed that the Courage Award has been displayed at their funerals as one of their favourite possessions and something to represent their lives. Emerson Thomas, the first recipient of the Courage Award is enjoying his nineteenth year of remission from Leukemia. Each year since he received the Award, he and his brother Julian and their mother Sharon Bool have attended the Run. Members of the Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club take them out on the Run. This involvement with motorcycling, rekindled Emerson’s Mom’s love of motorcycling.
The inscription on the Courage Award reads: B.C.C.H.Oncology Bone Marrow Transplant Courage Award “For meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor and conspicuous bravery…. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage.” - The Wizard of Oz
2012, marked the twentieth Annual Gord Heppler Memorial Run. With the help of the motorcycling public, that year’s Run raised $15,886.40 which a group of the Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club presented in person on the Children’s Hospital Miracle Telethon. That brought the grand total raised in twenty years to $156,525.95.
In 2012, after 20 consecutive years of putting on the Run, Jackie Heppler stepped down as the main organizer of the event. The event was taken over by Ron Benderski and a group of committees from the GVMC. They renamed the event the 21st Annual GVMC "Ride For The Kids" with all proceeds still going to the B.C. Children's Hospital. In 2014, GVMC's "Ride For The Kids" raised $6393.26 (a great total considering the horrendous rainy weather we had) bringing the grand total raised over 22 years to $170,177.26.
In 2015, the GVMC affiliated themselves with the Fire Fighters Burn Fund and the Burn Unit at Children's Hospital continuing to work to help kids.
Current Information on the 23rd Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
23rd Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
Enjoy a Great Ride and Help Kids With Burn Injuries!"
When: May 3, 2015
Sign up:$20.00 per person (which includes a meal at the end of the Run) from 10:00am - 11:00am at the GVMC Club House - Unit 307 - 9785 192nd Street. Cars are welcome.
If paying via Pay Pal the signup fee is $20.00 (plus applicable service charges).
There is a prize division for drivers of cars as well as riders of motorcycles and passengers.
Come early (9:00 am) for a GVMC Pancake and Sausage breakfast for $5.00.
Join us for a fun day of riding, meeting new and interesting people, eating good food, silent auction, draws,and most importantly supporting a very needy and worthwhile cause.
Silent Auction: Some large Ticket Items so use of Visa, Mastercard and American Express will be available.
All proceeds go to the "B.C. Firefighter's Burn Fund" to help Kids With Burn Injuries.
**To view pictures of this event please check it out in the Past Events section of this website or the Photo Gallery.
23rd Annual “Ride for the Kids”
Thanks to all participants, volunteers, and Silent Auction donators for making the “Ride for the Kids” for the Firefighters Burn Unit a successful event this year. It was a privilege to work together with the Firefighters Fundraising Group to raise money for the kids undergoing treatment.
The 23th Annual GVMC Ride for the Kids was held on Sunday May 3th, 2015. We had a beautiful sunny day with over a hundred riders. The firefighters served a hot dog lunch with veggies and fruit at one of the stops along the route. Everyone enjoyed the munchies.
The breakfast, silent auction and ham dinner, along with generous donations made this a successful event. We had lots of door prizes donated by various sponsors and a 50/50 draw of $357.00 which was donated back to the event by winner Judy Van Leeuwen.
The Club again wishes to thank all volunteers, participants, companies and individuals that donated their time, money and prizes towards this event. This event with not be possible without your kind generosity. A special thank you to Club members for their dedication towards making this a successful fund raiser for the kids.
To date the event has raised $170,177.26 for B.C. Children's Hospital for Kids with Cancer. This year the Ride for the Kids raised $10,360.50 which will go to the Firefighters Burn Unit continuing to help kids. This brings the total raised over 23 years to help kids to $180,537.76.
Check in the Photo Gallery for pictures of this event
PLEASE PATRONIZE THESE SPONSORS:
Sponsor List for 2015
Limited Editions Ltd Langley U-Blast The Fort Neighbourhood Pub Windsor Plywood Cypress Motorbike The Keg Restaurant -Richmond The Artful Dodger Pub Cloverdale Stampede & Tack M & R Sales Western Equipment Ricky’s All Day Grill - Langley Unitran Mfg Ltd Mopac Auto Supplies Jimy Mac’s Pub Panago Pizza - H.O. ABC Restaurant - Langley Newlands Golf & Country ClubGreater Vancouver Powersports Van Houtte Coffee Key Largo Jewelers Sea to Sky Motorsports SCN Industrial Barry Hamel Equipment Metso Paper Ltd Weldcor Commander Warehouse-Equipment Buy Low Foods - White Rock The German Advertising Advantage Axton Incorporated 3-D Cycles Checkpoint Yamaha Jarz Performance Milestones Grill - Langley White Spot Restaurant - Langley Otter Co-op Semiahmoo Shopping Center Valley Driving School MTR Sports Penguin Meats Greystone Langley Safeway Old Spaghetti Factory Langley Charlie’s Market Place IGA Original Cakerie Jack’s Something for Everyone Aldergrove Safeway Bob Kalo John Pearson Phil Blackburn Monty Worthington Firefighters Burn Unit Vince Peterson Kelly Comm Jennifer Rorison Marjory Vickers June Tucker Debbie Coray Maureen Farrel Anita Jeansonne