The Kinsmen Club of Brandon’s president, Arthur Wiebe, is happy to get the chance to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada during this weekend’s Ride for the Breath of Life.
The disease affected his family first-hand after Wiebe’s son Adam was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 18 months old.
“Last year the ride raised about $1,200, which was incredible as our goal was only $200,” Wiebe said. “We are hoping that we can double our participation this year, as well as our overall total.”
Kin Canada, which has been partnered with Cystic Fibrosis Canada since 1964, is looking to raise $40 million this year.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects mainly the lungs and digestive system, with body fluids often thicker than an average persons. At present, no cure has been found for this lifelong disease.
Ride for the Breath of Life is an annual event held across Canada. It invites people to enter their motorcycles and classic cars in a poker derby, as a way to raise money and awareness of cystic fibrosis in Canada.
“We made it very clear that all the money raised by our ride will remain in Manitoba,” said Wiebe. “It is important to us that the money stays in our area and goes to help the children here.”
Wiebe became involved with the Kinsmen Club of Brandon after being invited to share a parent’s perspective on raising a child with cystic fibrosis during a fall leadership conference.
“The next day a woman hugged me in the mall, saying that she was a Kinette and my talk had brought her to tears,” Wiebe said. “Everything was still very raw, Adam was only six and talking in front of people about it was still hard for me.”
Since then Wiebe has joined the Kinsmen Club of Brandon and is chairman of this year’s Ride for the Breath of Life event, which his eight-year-old son will attend. Adam has also become a face of Kinsmen events that raise money for cystic fibrosis.
“When Kinsmen approached me about Adam being a face for the events I was unsure,” Wiebe said. “Adam was much more excited to be the centre of attention.”
The event will begin with registration in the west-end Sobeys parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the poker derby at 11 a.m.
“There will also be a barbecue open to the public from (10 a.m. until 2 p.m.) at Sobeys,” Wiebe said. “It is a good opportunity to come down for lunch and buy some raffle tickets.”
This year’s big prize for the Ride for the Breath of Life raffle will be a Harley Davidson watch, along with a number of other prizes.
“We want to let the event grow each year,” Wiebe said. “Eventually we want to be able to get more sponsors and bigger raffle prizes, but this is where we have to start to get there.”
People can register their motorcycles and classic cars on Saturday morning at the Victoria Avenue Sobeys parking lot, or preregister by calling Arthur Wiebe at 725-4648. Those who preregister will also receive a pledge pack to get them started raising money before the ride.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 14, 2012