Motorcycle ride benefits murder victim's family
Foothills: Residents encouraged to join ride through Foothills to raise funds
Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 10:28 am
Foothills residents can strap on their helmets and enjoy the open road on two wheels this weekend all while benefitting a family going through an unimaginably difficult time.
The Xperience Life Motorcycle Charity Ride will be taking place at Cycle Works Motorsports north of Okotoks on August 16, with proceeds going to the O’Brien and Liknes family in Calgary, whose parents and five-year-old son went missing last month.
A suspect has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with the disappearance, and organizer Brett Hill said that hearing about the tragedy he wanted to do something to lend a hand.
“I have four little ones, and I just felt that heartache that comes with that and with them still not having closure,” he said. “I wanted to help out.”
The registration for the ride will begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 16, and the cost is $30 for pre-registration or $40 on the day of. The ride will leave at 10 a.m. heading through Bragg Creek, past Millarville, and then down through Turner Valley and Black Diamond. The ride will wrap up at 12:30 at Cycle Works where everyone, including non-riders, is invited to attend a charity barbecue.
The event was held for the first time last summer with the proceeds going to High River flood relief.
“The event went really well last year, better than we had expected. We moved from Claresholm to Okotoks the day of the flood and I helped clean out some of those houses in High River, and I love to ride and I though it would just be a good way to give back,” Hill said.
They had about 100 participants last year and raised $3,000. This year Hill is hoping for an even bigger turnout. The plan was initially to donate money to flood relief again this year, but then Hill heard about the O’Brien and Liknes family he decided the funds should go towards helping them out instead.
“It’s nice to give back to specific needs in the community each year, so that’s how I’d like to go about it instead of the same thing every year – give it to those who really need it,” he said.
Volunteers with the Foothills Humane Society contacted Hill with questions about how to organize a similar event, and Hill said he needed an extra hand with organizing his own charity ride, and instead offered to split the proceeds with the group if they came to help out.
While the Humane Society is currently trying to fundraise money for a permanent facility, director Kristal Gale said they’re planning to donate their half of the proceeds back towards the O’Brien and Liknes family as well.
If everything goes according to plan, Hill said he’s hoping the ride will be a success again and they will be able to turn it into an annual event.
“I like the idea that we help smaller local groups. I think the bigger charities out there are really good, but the funds go toward the organizational aspects of it,” he said. “With this it’s smaller and we make sure all the funds go to a good cause. We make it more personable. If we get good feedback again I think we will make it an annual thing, we just have to get the word out.”
For more information or to register for the ride, visit www.xperiencelife.ca.