Like most events, the annual Rally For Dad was cancelled this year due to the ongoing pandemic. But organizers have decided to take the event online to encourage fundraising for prostate cancer and to continue educating the public on the importance of getting tested.
The Northern Cancer Foundation’s Rally For Dad is taking place on Saturday. The event usually gathers hundreds of motorcyclists who go on a 200 km ride.
Tannys Laughren is the executive director of the Northern Cancer Foundation.
“We need all the support we can get,” she said. “Cancer hasn’t stopped with COVID. We continue to treat patients. We continue to do research and so a lot of our participants still wanted to support and still get out and make sure the message was heard.”
Riders usually start in Sudbury at the Northeast Cancer Centre, travel to Verner, on to Noelville and then back to Sudbury.
Laughren says the event can draw upwards of 200 riders each year.
“We just have to do it virtually,” she said.
“We wanted to keep everybody safe. Obviously in these times, we just want to ensure 100 per cent safety in terms of COVID.”
Normally, between $25,000 and $50,000 is raised. Laughren says they’re hoping to collect $20,000 this year.
“We’re supporting prostate cancer search and equipment right at the Northeast Cancer Centre. It is a really important event for us.”
Laughren says across Ontario, one in nine men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“The survival rate is very, very high,” she said.
“But, the survival rate is high because of programs like this that sponsor prostate cancer research.”
Laughren says the event is not only important for fundraising efforts, but to get out the message that early screening is important.
The event usually takes place on Father’s Day in June.
“We’re hoping that next June we will be able to gather like normal,” she said. “We’re really hoping that June 2021 goes back to our normal Rally For Dad.”