Desiree’s Ride is returning to Brantford to raise money and awareness for victims of violence after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19.
“We’re really excited to get back and to see everyone out again,” said Susan Gerth, president of Desiree’s Angels. “It is a really fun day with a ton of great people, after the ride we have a barbecue, live music and fun for everyone.”
The event was created in support of Gerth’s daughter Desiree Gallagher who was the victim of an assault that left her with catastrophic injuries.
Gallagher, who was 21 at the time, survived a seven-storey fall from a balcony following the assault but was left wheelchair bound, partially blind and with short-term memory loss.
The first ride was in 2014 and funds were raised to support Gallagher and her family with rehabilitation and medical costs.
In 2015, Gallagher succumbed to her initial injuries after two years of battling.
“Desiree was a fighter,” Gerth said about her daughter. “After her passing the ride became a memorial ride and we became a non-profit organization to continue to support victims of crime.”
Money from the event goes directly to Victim Services Brant, an organization that Gerth believes is underfunded and often overlooked.
“Many people don’t know it’s there because they never need to access it,” she said. “But they do so much and people aren’t aware of it so we’re happy to continue to support them.”
This year’s ride begins at Knights of Columbus in Brantford at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 20. Participants will ride to Hoover’s Marina and Warfside Restaurant in Nanticoke for a light lunch before returning to their starting point around 3 p.m.