Memorial ride-a-thon raises more than $15,000 in five years for Janeway
The sixth annual memorial Claude Hayward Clarke Ride-athon took place in Shearstown-Butlerville, Sunday May 31. This year’s event brought the total fundraising endeavour to more than $15,000.
“Claude passed away suddenly Feb. 21 with an abscess at the stem of the brain,” said his cousin Hayward Butler, one of the organizers of the event.
The young man was 22 when he passed away.
“Claude loved to ride his bike so his mother Sandra decided to have a memorial ride-a-thon in his memory — this is a way to keep his memory alive.”
Butler said the first ride in 2004 consisted of mostly Claude’s family members.
“Then there was such a response his mother decided to do it in aid of the Janeway Children’s Hospital starting in 2005.”
The first prize in fundraising this year was a brand new mountain bike, fully equipped, won by Cindy Ennis of Placentia.
Second prize of $100 went to Jason Reid of Shearstown, and the $50 third prize was won by Con Parsons of Placentia.
“With all fundraising efforts from ticket sales, Christmas tree lighting, sponsor sheets and balloon sales, this year’s efforts raised $5,175 for the Janeway which will be presented at the annual Janeway telethon,” said Butler.
“ Right now, we’re over the $15,000 mark overall over the past five years.”
“This year’s ride-a-thon was nothing but a complete success,” Claude’s mother Sandra said. “With over 30 bikes and 20 vehicles each year it is getting bigger and better.”
Every year Sandra takes her place in the line, behind another family member who leads the ride-a-thon on Claude’s bicycle. Due to problems with her back and arm, this year Sandra feared she would not be able to ride at all.
However, her nephew Hayward Butler solved the problem.
“I found out Reginald and Doreen Petten of Green’s Road, Bay Robert’s had one,” he said. “I approached them as complete strangers — and they were more than happy to be able to help us out. It was a bit tricky — trying to get us to start and stop the bike but overall it was a pretty smooth ride,” he said.
About 40 people turned out at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Shearstown for a prayer.
After the ride they stopped at St. Mark’s Hall in Butlerville for a family fun day with free refreshments, music and door prizes.
Claude’s mom, his sister Suzanne and brother Raymond expressed gratitude to everyone who helped, as well as anyone who bought tickets and participated in the event.
LINEUP - The official line up for the annual memorial Claude Hayward Clarke Ride-a-thon began at Claude’s house in Pickett’s Road May 31. BANNERS - Claude’s cousin, Hayward Butler, prepares a Bay Roberts fire truck for the sixth annual ride-a-thon in Claude’s memory.
PRAYER - Dressed in their memorial ride T-shirts, Claude’s family gathered at his graveside for a prayer on the day of the ride. Front from left: his brother Jordan Clarke, cousin Hayward Butler Jr., and nephew Joshua Snow. Back row: Claude’s mother Sandra Clarke, his aunt Louise Seymour holding his cousin Emily Levery, aunt Noreen Holmes, sister Suzanne Clarke, cousins Courtney Levery, Marianne Drover, and Billy Butler.
MEMORIAL - This bicycle, in front of a memorial table for Claude Hayward Clarke, was the prize for the top fundraiser in the ride.
FOR TWO - Unable to ride by herself this year due to health problems, Claude’s mother takes a back seat on a bicycle built for two behind Hayward Butler. The bicycle was donated to the ride by Reg and Doreen Petten of Bay Roberts.