Shake, Rattle & Roll Bike Rally for Parkinson’s
“An Inspiration and True Representation of Community”
Executive Director - Parkinson Society Saskatchewan
As Executive Director for Parkinson Society Saskatchewan, I’m honoured to be writing about the importance of the Shake, Rattle & Roll Fundraiser. In my eyes, this event represents much more than just a fundraising event to support our organization; it is an inspiration to people living with Parkinson’s and a true representation of how a community can rally around a family to support an important cause.
With John Kiefer being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s, Wanda felt she needed to do something in order to bring awareness to the disease that had afflicted their family. For the past two years, they have poured their heart and soul into this event and their community of St. Gregor has fully supported their efforts. Although a very small town, this event brings people from all over the province and creates a sense of community that could only be created through love and caring of those who know the Kiefer family, have been impacted by Parkinson’s or those just looking to help support such a great cause. As the lineup of bikes fire up their engines and roar out of town, you can feel a chill of emotion and passion shoot through your body. It is this feeling that is the inspiration to the Parkinson community; a feeling of hope, a better future and an improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s.
Words cannot express the appreciation Parkinson Society Saskatchewan has for this family. The Kiefer’s have been a great role model in the self-management of the diseaseand have shown that they will not allow Parkinson’s to take over their lives. We thank the Kiefer’s for their efforts and wish them the best in their fundraising and awareness efforts. Together we will create a better life with a brighter future for people living with Parkinson’s today and a world without Parkinson’s tomorrow.
We felt the need to raise some awareness about this disease, not too many people under the age of 50 are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease we are the minority.
This is where the idea to hold a Motorcycle Rally began. Wanda was the drive, she needed something to focus on and get her mind off of their future.
So began the planning of the first annual “Shake Rattle & Roll Motorcycle Rally for Parkinson’s disease”.
A group of friends were invited to join in the planning of the rally and together we got the wheels turning.
June 25th 2011 was the date chosen for the first rally; the rally began and ended in St.Gregor. St.Gregor is our home and seemed to be the most logical place to begin, it would bring people into town and as well as generating awareness for this disease it would also help to increase the community spirit and put St.Gregor on the map. (A mini Sturgis is what we like to think of it as).
There was about 50 motorcycles participating in the first rally, some of these had extra riders on the back.
The day began with a pancake breakfast and registration at the local community hall words of encouragement were presented and then the official ribbon cutting took place, Local individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease were invited to take a hand in the ribbon cutting, then the motorcycles left town at 11:00 am sharp.
About 300 kilometres was set out for the rally with a barbeque lunch about half way around in Lanigan.
A supper and dance ended the day back in St.Gregor. There were many raffle prizes and auction items which helped to generate many dollars in fundraising.
The verdict was in and EVERYONE agreed it was a huge success so let’s make it an annual event.
So began the planning for the second annual which followed pretty much the same format, it too was a huge success with about 75 motorcycles on route. More money was made and more memories created.
We are now organizing the 3rd annual which will take place June 22, 2013.
The rally will continue to be held the Saturday following father’s day.
The committee would like to say THANK YOU to all of those who have attended in the past and hope to see you at this years rally, bring your friends with you. Who knows what surprises we may have for you at this year's rally?