Ride to Reach 2013

There are many ways you can fundraise for JDRF and help us on our mission to cure, better treat and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D). Justin O’Connor, President of Okanagan HOME Magazine (www.okanaganhome.com) in Kelowna, BC and Tim Kasten from Kamloops, BC,  organize a third party fundraiser called ”Ride to Reach”  and have raised critical funds for T1D research.

Q. What is Ride to Reach?

A. My friend and co-founder Tim Kasken and I were finishing a motorcycle ride and discussing how fun it would be to have a weekend bike ride with a group of friends while supporting a good cause.  We came up with the idea for “Ride to Reach”, a weekend where a group of friends would each pay $75 to come along on a motorcycle ride. The $75 gets you on the Ride, a Ride to Reach t-shirt, two dinners over the course of the Ride, discounted accommodation, and a tax receipt from JDRF. The ride finishes off at our ranch (guestranchbc.com) where everyone gathers for a BBQ, and a live auction, with proceeds going to JDRF. People who may not have a motorcycle or are unable to come along for the Ride, often meet at the Ranch for the Ride’s closing and contribute their donations.

Q. How old is the Ride to Reach?

A. Ride to Reach started three years ago and consisted of 11 people on 7 motorcycles. The fundraiser raised around $350 that year after expenses and everyone had an amazing weekend.  We planned the ride again for the following year and had about 20 bikers with 30 people in total, raising around $3000. This year’s Ride to Reach had about 40 participants and raised around $14,500, in total. Each year is a learning process and next year we hope to reach the $20,000 mark.

Q. How do you pick which charity you are going to support?

We usually open up the questions of what charity we are going to choose to all of our friends and participants from the Ride to Reach. If someone has a loved one with a certain need, we will try and choose a charity that can help raise funds for research for their cause. Each year we have gone with a different charity.

Q. What are some challenges you experienced putting together this fundraiser?

When organizing a fundraiser like this there are a lot of things you have to take in to consideration. We try to choose rest stops that are close enough that riders and their passengers don’t get uncomfortable during the ride. We also like to stop in cities that have a bit of culture, so we need to take this in to account when mapping out our route. We try to do around 300 km a day; however we want everyone to be comfortable. We tell the group where we plan on making stops and if they don’t feel like stopping where or when we do, they can meet us at the accommodation at end of day. This way we allow everyone to ride at their own pace, stay comfortable, and enjoy themselves.

Q. What made this year’s Ride to Reach so successful?

A. Ride To Reach is made up of an amazing group of people who all go out of their way to help in many different ways; they donate money, prizes, auction items, they sponsor meals and offer support.

Also, this is the first year we were able to put a face to the cause. We had heard from a young lady, named Pricilla, from Kelowna who was trying to raise money to buy an insulin pump. She had saved up $6000 and the firm where she works (CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.), offered to match 50 cents on the dollar for any donations that she raised. With our help and the help of her firm we were able to get Pricilla her pump. During our Ride end BBQ Pricilla gave a talk about what it is like for a young woman with T1D and how her new insulin pump would make a difference in her life. Her speech put a face to the cause and genuinely touched everyone. After the speech people started running out to their bikes to grab extra bills and donating any cash they had on them. Putting a face to the cause definitely helped make people realize how important these fundraisers are and that made this year’s fundraiser such a success.

This is also the first year that a few people made the effort to get pledges. In previous years the money raised was only from people signing up for the race and paying the $75, but this year we had some riders go above and beyond with fundraising. With 40 people, if each person can raise a little bit of money, it adds up and makes a huge difference.

The Ride to Reach is a great example of a successful third party fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Ride to Reach and helped JDRF get closer to finding a cure for T1D. For more information on Ride to Reach, please visit their website! To learn more about how you can Fundraise Your Way and create your own unique fundraising event for JDRF, please visit jdrf.ca/fundraiseyourway.  For more pictures of Ride to Reach, check out our Facebook Album!

Lets turn type one into type none