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Lansdowne Children’s Centre gearing up for 20th annual motorcycle ride

Local NewsLansdowne Children's Centre gearing up for 20th annual motorcycle ride

Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation will host a grand finale celebrating the 20th annual Charity Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, July 6, 2024.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders are expected to join the police-escorted tour of the region, riding out along the Grand River heading towards Caledonia and then returning through Hagersville and Brant, to a headquarters setup at Brimich Logistics in the Oak Park Road industrial plaza in Brantford. Registration opens at 10:00 a.m. with kickstands up at 11:00 a.m. 

Photo courtesy Lansdowne Children’s Centre.

Local musicians Bar Code the band will be performing for riders before and after the ride, adding a chest-pounding rock and roll soundtrack to the adrenaline packed motorcycle tour. 

Over the past 19 years the Lansdowne Ride For The Kids has generated more than $1.2 million dollars in financial contributions to the children and youth programs and supports accessed at Lansdowne Children’s Centre by families of children with special needs.

Many riders have expressed that their favourite moment each year is parading past the kids and families at 39 Mount Pleasant Street who gather to cheer on the roaring fundraisers. 

Photo courtesy Lansdowne Children’s Centre.

The Charity Motorcycle Ride was introduced 20 years ago by fundraiser Bob Caissie, a local business owner whose family had been helped by Lansdowne Children’s Centre after his children experienced complications in their early years development.

“There could have been some major problems when they were born”, recalls Caissie. “We were very fortunate that it all worked out. From then, we had said if we could, we would be there to help families and kids in need.”

With over 3,600 children and youth accessing services and support annually, and over 2,600 more children and youth waiting for service or assessment, Lansdowne has been working with local and regional officials for the past ten years to plead a case for support that would bring expansion to the region’s children’s treatment centre.

Photo courtesy Lansdowne Children’s Centre.

This past January, the Honourable Minister Michael Parsa of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services visited Lansdowne Children’s Centre, hosted by MPP Brantford-Brant Will Bouma, and brought fantastic news to the region’s families – announcing plans to build a new children’s treatment centre facility in Brantford.

Since then, the wheels of progress have been in motion on plans to secure a location and timeline for the new build.

“Working with our board of directors, we are shifting the focus of our Lansdowne Foundation to our upcoming Campaign to support the building of a new facility,” said Jennifer White, Executive Director of Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation. “This exciting new project will be transformational and will positively impact the lives of the children and families we serve.”

Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation calls the 20th anniversary Charity Motorcycle Ride a grande finale on an exceptional annual fundraiser, with hopes to see the ride continue under third-party management in the future.

White says the door is open for fresh faces to take on the event management of the Charity Motorcycle Ride. “It’s our hope to see a 21st annual Lansdowne ride for the kids next year, organized and operated by a third-party.”

The Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation is made up of a volunteer board of directors, led by Board Chair Laura Maddison, a human resources professional from Brant. Jennifer White is one of two full-time staff dedicated to the Foundation’s mission, “To enhance and enrich the lives of the children and families that Lansdowne Children’s Centre serves by raising funds and goodwill throughout the community.”

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