FOUNDATION FIGHTING BLINDNESS
100s of motorcyclists to hit Sault roads in pursuit of sight-saving cure
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Dec. 22, 2011) – For the first time ever, Sault Ste. Marie will host a famed Ride for Sight charity motorcycle event this summer.
On June 29 and 30, hundreds of bikers will descend on the community for two days of riding and fundraising.
“The Sault is incredibly pleased to be hosting the Northern Ontario Ride for Sight in 2012,” said Mayor Debbie Amaroso. “This Canada Day weekend event will bring hundreds of visitors to our city, which will help support a great cause and also provide a welcome boost to our local economy.”
Held in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Ride for Sight raises money to fund research to pursue the causes, treatments and cures of retinal forms of blindness.
Since starting in 1979, it has raised more than $19 million for sight-saving research happening in universities and hospitals across Canada.
“For over 30 years, Ride for Sight has hosted riders and families who have been committed to community funding towards vision research,” said event spokesperson Mac Marcoux, a Sault Ste. Marie high school student and para-alpine skier who suffers from Stargardt disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that has left him legally blind. “Their contributions help fund research and shed hope for the future for not only myself but to all who are impacted by visual impairments.”
Since its inception, Ride for Sight has taken place in various cities and towns across the country.
This summer’s ride in Sault Ste. Marie was championed by the local H.O.G. (Harley Davidson Owners) Chapter and its director Paul Taillefer, though all motorcycles and motorcyclists are welcomed to attend.
“The Sault is a fresh and exciting venue for the 2012 Ride,” said Debbie Dixon, director of marketing and events for Ride for Sight Canada. “We have an opportunity to draw a great number of motorcycle enthusiasts from across Ontario and Michigan for a two-day festival packed with activities and entertainment. And it’s all for a great cause.”
Meanwhile, with hundreds of visitors taking part in the weekend event, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corp., was involved in the site-selection and planning stages.
“Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is proud and happy to be a part of this special event,” said Steve Hollingshead, the division’s co-ordinator of special projects and sport tourism. “The cause is great, and so is the benefit to the local accommodations and hospitality sector.”
Canadian scientists are making important discoveries towards the causes, treatments and ultimately the cures for retinal eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration – thanks to the funds raised by Ride for Sight and the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Both motorcycle riders and non-riders can join the weekend festivities. Ride for Sight has set a national fundraising goal of $1 million for 2012. To register online, visit www.rideforsight.com, or for more information call 1-800-461-3331.
Fundraisers who raise the minimum of $75 will receive a wristband that will allow them to enjoy all of the weekend activities.
To kick-off the event, riders will participate in the traditional motorcycle parade, navigating the region’s most scenic roads as a large group before gathering at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, attendees will enjoy bike games, a show n’ shine bike display, a vendor marketplace, live musical performances, and much more.
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB)
The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Canada’s largest registered charity for sight-saving research, has contributed more than $20 million to cutting-edge research into the causes, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and related retinal eye diseases. “A Cure is in Sight,” thanks to Foundation funded discoveries.
The Foundation is also known by its signature events: Comic Vision, Cycle for Sight, Ride for Sight, and Vision Quest. Visit www.ffb.ca
or call 1-800-461-3331 for the latest in vision research.
About Ride for Sight
Last year, Ride for Sight participants nationwide raised close to $1 million in donations for the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Ride for Sight takes place in seven regions across the country and is the longest-running motorcycle charity fundraiser in Canada.