CHESTERVILLE — Last weekend’s first-ever Winchester poker-hand stop serving Ottawa Ride for Dad motorcyclists has the organizers stoked for an even bigger deal next year.
Councillor Tony Fraser reported the event went off without a hitch as bikers arrived in groups of 30 or so at the Joel Steele Community Centre all Saturday morning, completely filling the asphalt parking lot with rumbling machines that moved in and then disembarked orderly fashion. A number of service clubs helped out and sold snacks under the Lions pavilion as the bikers pulled cards for their poker hand.
The visitors also received baggies of business cards and local promotional materials assembled by Destination North Dundas, a committee of the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the 2017 Ottawa edition of Ride for Dad — branded the “Telus” Ride for Dad after its title sponsor — drew 1,214 motorbikes and raised another $260,000 for prostate cancer research. Heading south from the Nation’s Capital, the participants thundered through Russell, Winchester and Chesterville’s Art on the Waterfront, as well as Morrisburg, Iroquois and beyond on a 214-km circuitous route back up to Ottawa.
Fraser and others associated with the Winchester poker-hand stop — which displaced a previous stop in Russell — are optimistic about upscaling to a full lunch event for the participants in Winchester next year.
The village has become a prostate-cancer-awareness hotspot in recent years, hosting annual free PSA clinics at Winchester District Memorial Hospital with the support of Ride for Dad and another locally based initiative known as the Black Walnut Prostate Cancer Support Group.