By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Coaldale resident, Adam Parker, has raised an astounding $28,000 for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation (KCCF) as part of the 2023 Ride for a Lifetime fundraiser.
First held in 2002, the KCCF Ride for a Lifetime fundraiser has raised over $3 million for cancer research, and programs and supports for children impacted by cancer. The annual event involves a group of 40 or so participants vigorously fundraising for the KCCF. Each year, the effort culminates in an inter-provincial group motorcycle ride from Calgary to Kelowna. After a positive experience taking part in the 2022 Ride For a Lifetime, Parker set his sights on a lofty pledge goal for the following year.
“We had a great time, and came back and decided, we should do a little bit more, we should try a little bit harder,” said Parker.
The 2023 ride took place earlier this summer from June 23 to 25. The riders spent the first of two nights in Creston before heading out to Kelowna for the second night at the Big White Ski Resort. Collectively, the 2023 Ride for lifetime raised over $100,000 for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. Parker’s fundraising efforts accounted for over 25 per cent of the total funds raised in 2023.
Parker said he sought the cinematic help of Joel Varjassy to create an informational/marketing video to present top prospective pledges.
The video includes footage, talking to Alberta’s head researcher for Juvenile Kids Cancer Care and interviews with the CEO of KCCF. Parker said part of making the video included a visit to Camp Kindle to meet with a child battling cancer.
Parker said the video was instrumental as a promotional tool during the fund-raising efforts.
Money raised is invested Into cancer research, and also helps KCCF provide resources to families with children battling cancer.A portion of the pledges goes to support the KCCF’s “Camp Kindle,” near Water Valley, Alberta. The camp, which runs seven weeks out of the year, provides a safe space for kids affected by cancer to “just be kids” in a summer camp setting. With access to a fully equipped clinic on site and staff and volunteers qualified to meet the needs of young people affected by cancer, the camp plays a role in bringing joy and a sense of normalcy to children affected by cancer.
Parker said a portion of funding is also earmarked for cancer research. In southern Alberta, one research project benefiting from funding is currently underway at the University of Calgary. The project is focused on difficult-to-treat cancers and involves researching and creating CAR T cell therapy, an immunotherapy using genetically altered T-cells to treat treatment-resistant cancers.
Parker called this year’s ride ,”an unforgettable adventure,” and said he received pledges from all over province. In addition to pledges made by families and friends, The Kinsmen Club of Coaldale donated $5,000, as well as the Lethbridge Kinsmen. Parker said, “16 other clubs and organizations,” donated on top of this including a donation from the West Lethbridge Lion’s Club, helping Parker to exceed his $25,000 pledge goal by over $3,000.
Parker thanked 2023 sponsors for their contributions and said he plans on continuing his involvement in the event in future years.