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Camp Quality 

Lifting the spirits of children

BY JUDI KOSKI (Northern Life) July 16th 2008

The Sudbury Wings Motorcycle Club,

together with a police escort and members

of other Sudbury motorcycle clubs,

participated in the 16th annual Ride Night

to Camp Quality in Monetville on July 16.

Club member Lise Campbell explained that

this year, the club fundraised by hosting a

charity barbecue and a bowling event to

raise $2,500 for Camp Quality.

Camp Quality is more than a camp. It’s

a non-profit volunteer organization which

provides a year-round support program for

children with cancer and their families.

Programs include family weekends,

reunions and fun days for the whole family.

Each camper is matched with a trained

adult volunteer, and medical staff is on-site.

The great fun behind the annual Ride Night

is that the children get so excited at this

hands-on event that they can set their

illness aside for awhile. The motorcycle

clubs provide rides for approximately 40

children and their companions.

For further information about this event

contact chapter director Bob Lalonde

at 692-7612 or Camp Quality at

Local News - Thursday, July 13, 2006 @ 11:00

Chad Weiman says he will never forget the incredible and emotional four years he spent volunteering at a Camp for young children suffering from cancer.

The Sudbury resident hit the road Wednesday evening on his red and black Yamaha V-Star motorcycle as more than 30 members of the Sudbury Wings Motorcycle Club and three officers from the Greater Sudbury Police Service paid a visit to Camp Quality in Monetville.

Weiman, who had girlfriend Melanie Paquette clutching his sides from the passenger seat on their way down Hwy. 69, is making his first visit to the Camp since volunteering as a companion from 2001-2004. "It is amazing how sick these kids are, but how strong their spirits are," the 23-year-old said. "You don't recognize how sick they are from the way they act."

The Sudbury Wings made its 13th trip in 14 years to deliver an annual fundraising cheque to the local Camp Quality and give motorcycle rides to Northern Ontario kids battling cancer.

The first Camp Quality was founded in Australia in 1983 by Vera Entwistle to provide a program of support for children with cancer and their families.

The first Canadian Camp was founded at Priceville, Ont., in 1988 and six exist in the country today.

Entwistle was to attend when the group arrived as the Monetville site celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Wings' chapter director, Robert Lalonde, said it is an exciting time for club members, but more so for the children.

"There is great anticipation," said Lalonde, who happens to be Weiman's uncle. "We have been told many times it is the highlight of the kids' week."

Hogs of all sizes and colours packed the parking lot of the south-end Canadian Tire and proceeded to filter out and cover a 300-metre stretch of Hwy. 69 southbound from Sudbury.

OPP cruisers and Sudbury Police bikes joined in with sirens wailing and lights flashing to escort the group in attention-grabbing style. One car even passed at a leisurely clip to ask The Sudbury Star what all the commotion was about.

Life-long Wings member Jim Campbell said the tradition dates to the club's inception 14 years ago as a way to give back to the community.

Members contributed nearly $2,000 this year after a series of fundraisers including barbecues, bowling nights, pool nights and yard sales. The motorcycle rides are a popular bonus.

"It was perfect for us and exciting for the kids," Campbell said of the annual event and fundraising.

"They have big costs down there because they have (to employ) doctors and nurses. In fact, some of the kids are too sick to go on the rides."

However, with all the excitement the day has to offer, members of the club said it takes a couple hours to unwind when they return later that evening.

"It can be a real tear-jerker," Campbell said. "I remember my first year when I took a little girl for a ride on my motorcycle but I found out the next year that she died not so long after that."

Weiman, who was introduced to the volunteer experience through a friend's dad, understands the difficulty of continuing on a permanent basis with children suffering from a sometimes fatal disease.

One of the kids he knew during his time at Camp Quality passed away the following year.

"It was very difficult," said Weiman, who plans on returning with the Wings every year to Camp Quality.  "It is so hard to see someone so young, so sick."

Bikers for Life set example of giving

Date Published | May 9, 2006

Steve English and Bob Lalonde rolled up to the Canadian Blood Services clinic on Cedar St. to donate blood as part of the Bikers for Blood donor campaign.


A fleet of motorcycles rolled up to the Canadian Blood Services clinic on Cedar St. Monday. Sleeves rolled up, the burley looking bunch rode in from Sudbury, North Bay and Sault St. Marie to give blood at the annual Bikers for Life blood donor drive.

Started two years ago by longtime blood donor Maurice Clement, the director of the Sudbury chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG), Bikers for Life was well represented by members of area riding associations the Freedom Riders, Gold Wing Association, Blue Knights, Southern Cruisers, Women on Wheels and HOG.

Daria Morley, co-ordinator at the clinic welcomed the donation by the civic-minded bikers.  “Every unit has the potential to help save three lives, and last year the bikers gave 50 units of blood,” Morley said.

Last year was the first time for Gold Wing Association provincial director Steve English. The owner operator of Little John’s sign shop in Garson, English admits he’d though about donating blood for years, but it took the Bikers for Blood drive to give him the final push he needed.

Fellow Gold Wing rider Bob Lalonde, a materials co-ordinator with Inco, became a regular at the Canadian Blood Services after 9/11.  “I felt it was the only thing I could do to help out,” Lalonde said. “I kept it up. You don’t know who or when it will be needed.”

Several of the bikers such as HOG member Chris Kemp are regular donors.

Kemp is the vice-president of RBC Dominion Securities and has been riding motorbikes since he was a teen. Having been a donor, no one was more surprised than he, when four months ago he woke up in hospital to discover he had required a transfusion to save his life.

Still recovering from the emergency gastric surgery, Kemp will be holding on to his latest donation for another few months.

According to Morley, any healthy person between the ages of 17 and 54 should be able to donate. She reminds would-be donors it takes an hour to complete the 10 minute procedure, due to the screening process.

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