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. That 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.
Current Information on the 24th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
24th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
Enjoy a Great Ride and Help Kids With Burn Injuries!"
When: June 5, 2016
Mark this date on your calendar for a great Charity event.
Sign up:$25.00 per person (which includes the Ride and Dessert) from 10:00am - 11:00am at the GVMC Club House - Unit 306 - 9785 192nd Street. Cars are welcome.
If paying via Pay Pal the signup fee is $25.00 (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.
Lunch by Donation to the Fire Fighters Burn Fund.
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.
24th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
The 24th annual Ride for Kids started off with a record hot day (no rain), but ridership was down to 65 riders raising an amount of $8057.75 which added to our overall total of money collected over the years to $188,595.51. I would like to thank all participants, volunteers and donators for making the 2016 Ride for Kids event possible and successful for another season. It was a privilege to work alongside the Firefighters and all of the GVMC club members who volunteered and gave of their time to make this event possible, for without you it would have never happened.
The riders enjoyed some of the nicest roads in the lower mainland, some that they probably have never been on. Thanks to Steve Prost for putting it together. The Abbottsford Fire and Rescue Department put on a lunch (by donation) of hotdogs, vegetables, pop and chips which was enjoyed by all. All funds going to the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund, as well as all moneys from the ride registration, breakfast, 50/50 tickets and the Silent Auction. Money from the 50/50 winner was donated back to the ride as well. The Club again wishes to thank all the volunteers, participants, companies and individuals that donated of their time money and prizes to this event. This event would not happen without your kind generosity. A very special thanks again to all club members for your dedication towards making this a successful event for without you this event would not happen so give yourselves a big round of applause
Check under Past Events for a complete report with a list of our sponsors and check in the Photo Gallery for pictures of this event. :
PLEASE SUPPORT THESE CORPORATE SPONSORS WHO DONATED TOWARDS OUR EVENT:
Artful Dodger Pub Checkpoint Yamaha Commander Warehouse Equipment Craftmaster Beer Company Cypress Motorbike Famoso Pizzeria Fort Pub & Grill Firefighters Langley Local Gawley & Son Contracting Ltd German Advertising Advantage Greater Vancouver Powersports Greystone Promotional Products Jack's Something For Everyone Keg Restaurants Key Largo Jewellers Langley U-Blast Newlands Golf & Country Club Otter Co-op Panago Pizza Ricky's All Day Grill Safeway Langley Sea to Sky Motorsports Semiahmoo Shopping Centre Stampede Tack 3-D Cycles Unitran Manufacturing Valley Driving School Valley Powersports Windsor Plywood Western Equipment White Spot Restaurant
ALSO MANY THANKS TO THESE INDIVIDUAL SPONSORS:
Phil Blackburn Vern & Virginia Billing Ron & Lil Benderski Kelly Comm Maureen Farrell Micheline Fortier Sandy Gaudette Shelley Gawley Dwight Harris Georgina Heaps Jackie Heppler Trevor Marc Hughes Glenn Irwin Yvonne Jensen Patti Lockhart Madelaine & Harvey Mazer Berny Schulz Donna Serne Pearl Shaw Marjory & Bob Vickers