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Taking fundraising to the highway

Lauren MacGill

Riders gathered at the Christian Life Centre in Morden on July 7 to head to Treherne and raise money to send kids around the world to camp.

Riders gathered at the Christian Life Centre in Morden on July 7 to head to Treherne and raise money to send kids around the world to camp.

Riders braved the extreme heat on Saturday, July 7 to raise money to send kids to camp.

This is the second year Children’s Camps International (CCI) has run their Ride for Kids, but the first year the event has been held in southern Manitoba. Organizer Greg Wood said part of the reason the event came to be is because the motorcycle community is one that loves giving back. “People in this area love to ride and we have found that most people that ride bikes are very giving, very caring,” he said.

Riders took off from Morden and drove to Treherne to grab ice cream and a little rest. Then the group went to Pilot Mound and through La Riviere to check out the Passion Play before coming back to have dinner in Morden.

Wood said CCI has a few “unique” ways of fundraising, including the upcoming Harvest for Kids that hopes to raise $5 million and break the world record for most combines harvesting a field at once.

Wood said the end result of all the fundraising is to get kids to camp. “For many of them in these countries, some of them have never heard the name of Jesus at all,” he said. “Once they realize their freedom in Christ, it becomes so much better for them. We train a lot of youth to run the camps themselves and they benefit from the leadership abilities that they learn from that too.”

Wood said it is fabulous to see the impact that CCI has had. “We’ve sent 1.8 million children to camp,” he said. “We started in 2003 and many of the children who have attended the camp are now running camps or in ministry, they’ve grown up in it and they are now continuing to share Christ with someone else.”

Bruce Salmonson, member of the Christian Motorcycle Association of Canada, said it was important for CMA bikers to be at the event. “Our motto is to reach one heart at a time,” he said. “And that’s what we do. We reach people that other people shy away from, and that goes hand in hand because bikers all love kids. We spread out throughout the province so we can meet one soul at a time. If we huddle together we don’t meet people, because they see a big group and they’re scared.”

“This is such a wonderful part of the world,” Wood said. “They are so giving. They understand the need, they see the need. They understand the impact they can have with their donations.”

“They don’t feel that somebody is begging for money,” he added. “They understand there’s a need out there and they get to be a part of it.”