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Cruise Don't Bruise Motorcycle Ride

trudyI attended the Cruise Don't Bruise - Bikers Against Violence motorcycle ride Saturday morning, September 14. The funds raised go towards the Eastern Ottawa Recource Centre's programs against violence: Women & Violence; Children Who Have Witnessed Violence, School Based Violence Prevention programs and Elder Abuse...

I was at the start location at Beacon Hill Shopping Centre on Ogilvie Road. I first heard about the initiative a little over two years ago from Chantal Vachon, Coordinator for Community Support Programs at the Resource Centre. She and her husband, Alain, are very much involved in organizing the event.

Among the opening remarks was a very emotional talk by Karen Riopelle, the mother of Jessica Riopelle, who was violently murdered at the age of 22 in Ottawa in March 2011. Mrs. Riopelle's key message was that the victim should never be blamed for a violent act. She said her daughter made some poor choices but she urged parents not to assume that because their children are good kids that something like this would never happen to them. She expressed her appreciation for the "Cruise Don't Bruise" initiative and for all the particpants in the event. She is telling the story of her daughter's tragedy to create awareness and to work towards the prevention of such violent acts.

There was a great turnout for the fundraiser ride this year, probably 140 to 150 riders. Among the participants were members of the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers, the Bikers Church (I had a chance to say hi to Scott Towaij), staff and volunteers of the Resource Centre, other groups and individuals with a heart to support the cause. Several private sponsors presented cheques in support of the initiative. The weather was a little cool but beautifully sunny as they all headed off on the ride. My husband, Len, participated for the third consecutive year.

He's at the back of the pack as you can see! I think I may have to re-learn to ride and participate next year! Especially for such a good cause.


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