Mass ride for cancer survivors

2018-08-07 06:00
Derek “JR” Rodgers of Freedom Riders, at the cancer fundraiser in Kensington on Sunday 5 August. PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

Derek “JR” Rodgers of Freedom Riders, at the cancer fundraiser in Kensington on Sunday 5 August. PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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Bikers from all corners of the Western Cape assembled in the Kensington Civic Centre on Sunday 5 August to raise funds for the benefit of people living with cancer.

The Cancer Run, as the annual event is known, sees bikers go on a mass ride from their respective locations and gather in a selected venue, Kensington the most frequented one.

This year’s mass ride started from Wynberg and Brackenfell, with the bikers, representing more than 40 clubs, regrouping in Voortrekker Road and heading for the civic centre.

Inside the centre, all sorts of activities – a potjiekos competition, face painting, Shavathon and numerous lucky draws – heated up the day.

Children were not spared entertainment, with candy floss, popcorn and slush puppie available at food stalls, for free. Entry fee to the event was R50 and beanies and caps were also on sale.

Conducted under the Biker Charities Western Cape (BCWC), the event’s aim was to raise money for charity and for people with cancer, said BCWC chairperson Bobby van der Westhuizen. He said although the bikers are a priority, ordinary people outside the biker community are assisted. “We help a lot of non-bikers, they approach us and ask for help, we ask for doctor’s proof that they are sick. We pay doctors’ bills. We don’t give cash,” added Van der Westhuizen.

One of the partners was Kensington-based Alpha Charity Foundation, an organisation that helps sick and homeless people. “Every year since the inception of the Annual Cancer Run we enter the potjiekos competition and the funds we raise we give directly to the BCWC and they pass it on to cancer foundations,” says founder Kevin Alexander.

He said the team’s target on the day was to raise R1000, which in the end they missed by just R200.

Jeremy Peters, the only surviving founder member of Freedom Riders, was excited to be part of the charity drive again. His club won the potjiekos competition in 2009 and entered again this year. “To people living with (cancer), we know what they are going through. All we can do is support and hope that they find a cure one day,” said Peters.

Derek “JR” Rodgers, the co-founder of one of the oldest biking clubs in the province said: “We have been doing this for 11 years and the people are very supportive.”

One local resident whose mother died of cancer last year, said he attended the event as a tribute to her.

The event concluded with prizes and pledges from bikers and other stakeholders.

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