Ottawa Construction News staff writer
Ottawa Construction Association (OCA) president John DeVries is preparing to commemorate THE RIDE – a massive early September cycling event for The Ottawa Hospital that concluded its 10-year run in 2019 – with a special commemorative cycling event on Sept. 12.
Cyclists will raise funds for the hospital in an approximately 2.5 hour, 50 km circuit from the OCA headquarters on Auriga Dr.
In a note published on the OCA’s website, DeVries says OCA members “passionately participated” in the fundraising for The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and specifically for cancer research.
“The construction industry annually represented the largest number of corporate teams and riders in the event raising a disproportionate share of the overall $14 million raised” over the decade, DeVries wrote.
“Recently I was inspired by Mike Bull of OCA member firm Enterprise Commercial Truck who annually led the Enterprise Team on THE RIDE,” he said.
“Like so many who participated in THE RIDE Mike had a personal story as to why he was raising funds for the Ottawa Hospital. In 2017 his wife Rie suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and the Ottawa Hospital was there to save her. It is Rie’s journey to recovery and the care that saved her life that motivates Mike to give back each year. It is a great story of beating incredible odds and you can read Rie’s story at this Ottawa Hospital here.”
“Mike did not let the 2019 cancellation of THE RIDE deter him from giving back to the Hospital. In 2020 he raised several thousand dollars for cancer research by riding not one single ride but a whole season’s worth for a total of 2,262 km.
“He has raised the bar for 2021 by committing to riding and rowinga total of 7,821 km – the length of the Trans-Canada Highway between April 15 and ending on Sunday, Sept 12. You can visit his fundraising page at this LINK.
DeVries wrote that he knows “there are many similar stories out there like the Bull family within OCA so I thought what a nice opportunity if we could provide an event to celebrate the success stories like Rie but also to celebrate the memories of those taken by cancer and to raise funds for the fabulous cancer research going on at the OH under Dr. John Bell so that more people hear the miraculous words ‘You are now cancer free!”.
Accordingly, the OCA president says he decided to set up Sept. 12 bicycle tour with a BBQ wrap-up at OCA’s headquarters.
“Raising funds for cancer research is a goal with this event but it is not a prerequisite to joining in this ride,” DeVries writes. “If riding your bike is not your thing BUT you want to financially support this cause you are welcome to make a donation at the OCA RIDE FOR CANCER RESEARCH fundraising webpage.”