About two dozen members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario roared into Greater Sudbury on Saturday to show first responders in the city their appreciation.
Club spokesperson Jagdeep Singh said this marked the seventh ride to recognize first responders. Before Saturday, members had covered from Winsdor-Essex to Kingston, and all the way from Aurora, Peel, Greater Toronto area, but this is the first time they rode in Northern Ontario.
“The objective is to recognize first responders and essential workers,” Singh said.
With a police escort, and despite the rainy weather, club members visited different first responder locations across Greater Sudbury, including police stations, the fire station, paramedics, Health Sciences North, as well as long-term care facilities. So far the club has visited 32 location across Ontario.
“We ride to the facilities and present a commemorative plaque at each destination,” Singh said. “It’s something for them to hold onto, and to recognize their work during this pandemic.”
One of the core values the Sikh faith adheres to is selfless service and the transformative effect it has on making society better, Singh said.
“We really take every opportunity to encourage that,” he said. “Police, firefighters, paramedics, they are all so important, so every opportunity we get as a group, we want to give back. Our thoughts are also with transit workers, the truck drivers who maintain the supply chain, the people who stock the shelves, the essential workers.”
Originally, the club had big plans for 2020, but COVID-19 literally put the brakes on those plans. Members were going to raise $100,000 for Diabetes Canada to mark the Banting House to mark the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of insulin, but that was cancelled due to the pandemic, said Singh.
As well, members were going to raise funds for an organization that renovates homes for amputees and Canadian soldiers injured in battle.
To date, the club has raised about $300,000 over the years, including $115,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, $55,000 for Diabetes Canada, as well as funds for breast cancer research and other projects.