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Calling all Riders
2010-07-02
Providence board member Burt Loewen is planning to ride in the First Annual Ride for Providence.

Bikers To Head Out on the Highway in Support of Christian Higher Education

Motorcycle riders will be hitting the road across Southern Manitoba on Sat., Aug. 21 in support of Providence College and Seminary.

The First Annual Ride for Providence will gather together motorcycle enthusiasts from five start locations across Manitoba to raise money for the scholarship and bursary fund.

Providence board member Burt Loewen, retired owner of Steinbach Furniture, is an avid motorcycle rider and is planning to ride in the event.

“Both my spouse and I are into motorcycles,” says Loewen, “but this is a fairly new thing for us. I only heard of a bike rally for the first time last year. This year they seem to be catching on and I’m excited. It’s a first-time event for the school, so we are going to see how it turns out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

While the event may be new to Providence, motorcycle fundraisers are not uncommon and are a lot of fun. Ben Funk, a Providence alumnus, has ridden in over 10 motorcycle fundraisers.

“Fundraiser rides are always exciting as riders of like passion contribute to a worthy cause.” But Funk also admits to being a bit sceptical when he first heard about the Christian event.

Loewen commented on the perceived incompatibility of Christianity and motorcycle culture. “I don’t think that everybody has to follow the same path necessarily,” says Loewen, “and quite a few of my friends ride bikes. We have many Christian friends and this is their hobby, their form of relaxation and travel."

Margaret Schonewille, vice president for development at Providence, has past experience coordinating seven motorcycle fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Society of Kenora and Rainy River District.

“Riders have a lot in common whether they are Christian or not,” says Schonewille. “They are passionate about their hobby and this event helps channel their passion toward a worthwhile cause, raising funds to support young people who want to attend a Christian college.”

“I believe in Christian education. I believe in Providence,” says Loewen. “My children have all attended Providence and I still take classes there from time to time.”

“This event should be a fun event for the average rider,” says Funk. “There are a lot of things to see and a lot of people to connect with. Motorcycling is fun at the best of time. A bad day on a motorcycle is still better than a good day at the office.”

“I’m going to be inviting a bunch of people who are younger than we are,” says Loewen, who says he and his wife are in their mid to late 60s. “It’s going to be a full parade. If you enjoy bike holidays or are part of a local bike club, you would enjoy the Ride for Providence.”

Riders can sign up to start in Portage la Prairie, St. Pierre-Jolys, Steinbach, Winkler, or Winnipeg. From each convenient start location, riders will head toward Carman, MB to have lunch together at the Carman Active Living Centre. Then they will head to Otterburne, MB to celebrate with a complimentary steak dinner at the 100-acre Providence campus.

Prizes available include a private sailboat excursion on Lake of the Woods, overnight vouchers toward a variety of hotels in Manitoba or Ontario, and other silent auction prizes. Money raised will go toward bursaries for Providence students who are from the province or state of the rider.

For an online registration form, visit www.providencecollege.ca to sign up for the early bird fee of $20.00 (to Aug. 18). Sponsors can easily submit pledges online for their favourite rider without mailing in paperwork. Contact Margaret Schonewille at 204-433-7488 ext 236 or margaret.schonewille@prov.ca.

 
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