ATV ride supports survivors of breast cancer
By Vanessa Balintec
With ATV and snowmobile rides, the Kelly Shires Foundation works hard to raise money for breast cancer survivors.
On May 4, groups of pink-clad men and women drove their ATVs down Haliburton County trails for their Pink Ribbon Ride and 10th TraX4 Breast Cancer event.
Suzy Stenoff, co-founder of the Kelly Shires Foundation, says it was a big move to host their 10th anniversary in Haliburton.
“For nine years we’ve hosted the event in Parry Sound,” said Stenoff. “This was huge for us to move to Haliburton for our 10th anniversary, and it was hard because Parry Sound was a place Tracey chose.”
Tracey Guthrie, co-founder of the TraX4 event, passed away shortly after their seventh event and a 19-year battle with breast cancer. But despite the difficulty, Stenoff said the move to Haliburton has been great.
“We are very happy being here in Haliburton,” said Stenoff. “Pinestone Resort has been amazing, local ATV groups and local companies have been so supportive all the way around.”
The event went forward with Tracey in mind as volunteers rode to raise money to help financially support breast cancer survivors. Proceeds will go toward men and women breast cancer survivors across Canada, to help with things that health insurance programs do not cover. Wigs and prosthetics, rent, food, and transportation costs are things Lindsay Draper, volunteer organizer of the event, says are some of the many hidden costs breast cancer survivors face.
“There are so many hidden costs, it’s unbelievable,” said Draper. “We are the only charity of our kind in Canada that financially supports men and women who are going through breast cancer. It’s to give those who are fighting some dignity.”
Todd Watling, volunteer trail co-ordinator, says the event was a great opportunity for men to participate. “Usually when it comes to breast cancer, men aren’t so involved. Whereas in this one, it’s the opposite – everybody’s involved.”
The TraX4 Breast Cancer ATV ride raised $42,000 with 40 participants and 29 bikes. The organization hopes to come back to Haliburton in the future.