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-eight 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 designated what that year’s proceeds from the Run would 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.
In 2019 Richard Brown and GVMC committees took over the event again working for The Fire Fighters Burn Fund raising $6966.71 bringing the grand total raised over 27 years to $211,429.43.
Current Information on the 28th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"Cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic
28th Annual GVMC "Ride For the Kids"
"Enjoy a Great Ride and Help Kids With Burn Injuries!"
When: May 3, 2020
Mark this date on your calendar for a great Charity event.
Sign up:$35.00 per person (which includes Breakfast, 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 $35.00 (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.
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.