Riding for the kids

Island motorcycle fundraiser part of coast-to-coast relay

With each kilometre he covers on his canary yellow Goldwing motorcycle, Lamont French will close in on his goal to make a difference, one dollar at a time, one child at a time.

The Langford resident is leading the charge in the province and on the Island in the third annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay Ride in hopes of raising $10,000 provincially for the Military Police Fund for Blind Children.

“If you can give back from time to time, it’s a great thing to do,” said French, who retired Aug. 8 as a military police officer at CFB Esquimalt.

The trip from CFB Esquimalt to CFB Comox on Aug. 27 is open to all motorcyle riders, but registrants can join in at any point along the way. The registration fee is $25 or, if riders raise at least $150 for the cause, they ride for free.

The Island event is part of a national relay from Newfoundland to B.C. that began July 16. The Island ride is the final leg of the event.

The event’s staple charity supports children who are visually impaired, but each year a second charity is added. This year, funds will also go to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

“So we’ve made it all about children this year,” French said.

The Military Police Fund for Blind Children was started by Col. James Stone in 1957 after his daughter was diagnosed with, and eventually died from, eye cancer. Stone felt prompted to help organizations he came into contact with that were struggling to provide for visually impaired children.

That touching experience has, in part, inspired French to continue his own fundraising efforts.

“If someone doesn’t step up, the world is going to do without,” he said. “Everything helps.”

The event on Aug. 27 gets underway with a silent auction at Venture, the Naval Officers Training Centre at Work Point in Esquimalt, beginning at 8 a.m. Riders are asked to use the entrance at Lyall and Head streets. The ride starts at 10 a.m.

For details, please visit www.mpnmrr.ca, or to register, please call Lamont French at 250-880-0909 or email lamontfrench@shaw.ca.