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-seven 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.
In 1998, 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 twentieth 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 went to the Firefighters Burn Unit continuing to help kids. That brought the total raised over 23 years to help kids to $180,537.76. In 2016 the event raised $8057.75 bringing the grand total over 24 years to $188,595.51.
In 2016 Ron Benderski stepped down as the main organizer of the event and Bob Vickers and Ron Gaudette took over.
In 2017 the event raised $7,789.80 bringing the grand total over 25 years to $196,385.31. In 2018 the event raised $8,077.41 bringing the grand total over 26 years to $204,462.72.
Current Information on the 27th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
27th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
"Enjoy a Great Ride and Help Kids With Burn Injuries!"
When: May 5, 2019
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.
Ride leaves at 11:00am.
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. Firefighters' 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.
Event Comments: 27th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
The weather was a clear and sunny Sunday for this year’s Ride For The Kids, and a respectable count of 61 riders came to take part. A breakfast of pancakes and sausages was prepared at the clubhouse prior to the run, enjoyed by many people. An excellent ride was laid out by Wes Jamison, featuring a stop at the firehall in south Langley, where the firefighters provided a lunch for the riders, by donation.
There were fun games set up at the checkpoints, two at the clubhouse at the beginning of the run, and again at the end, with the fifth checkpoint at the firehall lunch stop. Prizes were given out to the winners based on their scores from these games for the top three scores, as well as the lowest score. On returning to the clubhouse the participants were provided with desserts and coffee thanks to our sponsors.
A silent auction was set up in the clubhouse with a huge number of items up for bids, all donated by local businesses and individuals. The participants had plenty of time to browse through these items before and after the run, and to place their bids. Payment was available by credit/debit card as well as good old-fashioned cash.
Including all income from the ride, meals, silent auction and generous donations from individuals this year’s event raised a total of $6,966.71 for the B.C. Firefighters’ Burn Fund, towards their Kids’ Burn Camp which also brings the lifetime amount raised to $211,429.43.
A huge thank you to the many club members who worked hard to make this event a success, especially Richard Brown, Harold Fink and Wes Jamison for coordinating!
Many thanks to the following sponsoring businesses, without whom this total would not have been achievable:
For donating food - Penguin Meats, The Original Cakerie, and Van Houtte Coffee, we could not have this event without their generous sponsorship every year.
For donations of items for the silent auction – Trev Deeley, Windsor Plywood, The Fort Pub and Grill, The Keg Restaurants, Stampede Tack, Panago Pizza, Western Equipment, Key Largo Jewelry, Jack’s Something For Everyone, Unitran Manufacturing, The German Advertising Advantage, Greystone Promotional Products, Commander Warehouse Equipment, Rok Straps, Maple Leaf Storage, Opus Consulting Group, Sea to Sky Motorsports, Big Top Powersports, Birch Bay Leisure Park, Group, and the B.C. Firefighters.
Please patronize these sponsors.
Also a huge thank you to the GVMC Members who donated items for the silent auction, as well as cash for the Kids.
Let’s make the 2020 “Ride for the Kid’s” the biggest ever…