Riding 12,000 kilometres, a group of Sikh bikers in Canada have raised over $60,000 for a cancer charity.
The 24-member team of Sikh Motorcycle Club reached Surrey, Canada, two weeks after departing for their journey to raise awareness about the devastating disease. On 13 bikes, the members rode through British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, before turning around in Montreal.
More than 70 individuals and groups made donations to support their initiative, helping them raise a total of $61,194 for the cancer society. The money will go towards the Canadian Cancer Foundation’s efforts to fund research and prevention initiatives and assist those fighting paediatric cancers.
“We thought about those kids who need money to fight cancer. This gave us the energy to undertake the journey,” said rider Charnjit Dhadda.
Along the way, the bikers met community members and appeared on local television and radio stations. “Every city they went to, they found cooperative people from both Sikh and non-Sikh communities,” said club founder Harjinder Singh Thind.
Allan Mugford, the foundation’s regional director for Fraser Valley, said they were “stunned and amazed” by the fundraising effort. “This is a totally committed and passionate group of community members,” he said.
Beyond fighting childhood cancers, the riders had another mission -- bringing communities together.
“The main purpose of this club was to build a bridge between the mainstream community and us – the Sikh living next door. We have succeeded in doing that,” said Thind.