A run for a good cause
Rose and Gerard French of Bay Roberts know what it’s like to lose a son.
In 2000, they lost their 14-year-old son Gary French after an accident at an Amalgamated Academy school dance.
So when the call came to help out a family friend after he lost a son, they were quick to offer their services and answer the call.
In May, an accident on the Veteran’s Memorial Highway claimed the life of a 35-yearold woman and a 67-year-old man, while leaving a 33-yearold man in serious condition. A few days later, the younger man succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Amanda Rees, 35, and Donald Snow, 33, were two of the three killed in the accident.
They left behind three sons to live with the maternal and paternal grandparents.
Almost immediately, the Frenchs, along with Brian Drover, Shelley Drover, Dean Spicer and Deanne Spicer started working out a way to help the family, more specifically the grandfather Eric and the three boys.
“When this happened … the six of us started talking and said we had to do something,” said Gerard. “We said we had to do something to help them out.”
The result was an event they called “Ride For The Boys,” a daylong all-terrain vehicle run leaving from the Gary French Memorial Speedway in Bay Roberts on the morning of July 23 and using plenty of the old Janeway run from years ago.
Planning for the event started several weeks ago, and along with some additional members to the committee, things started falling into place.
Posters were made and distributed throughout the region by the group, along with sponsorship letters.
They’ve been asking businesses for donations of any kind to go into a trust for the three boys.
“Response has been really good,” said Rose.
To date, the group has raised over $1,000.
The evening of the run, the group is capping the day with a dance. Originally, the group had targeted the Lion’s Club on Bareneed Road to hold it, but plans changed.
July 23 marks the start of the annual Klondyke Days and Bay Roberts planned on holding a shed party at the stadium at the same time. Graciously, the town’s special events committee offered to give them the space or move the event all together so as not to clash with the dance at the Lions Club.
After some conversation, it was agreed they’d use the Bay Arena.
“It’s anything we want to do over there. If we want to sell tickets, we can,” said Rose.
“To a point, they were overwhelmed with us even going along with it,” added Gerard.
Community chipping in
The kitchen at the French’s Country Road home is full of gifts donated by various people and businesses from around the area.
We want to provide as much a livelihood for those boys as if their mom and dad were still here. Gerard French
At the dance that night, they’ll be handed out through ticket draws. The town has also agreed to give the group the proceeds from the door for the event.
Not only that, but the trail is being groomed through donations and a bridge was repaired through building supplies donated by a local business.
“There’s a lot of people coming together for this,” said Gerard.
“Everybody is helping us,” added Rose.
The group hopes to make this an annual event and keep adding to the trust for the boys.
“We want to provide as much a livelihood for those boys as if their mom and dad were still here,” said Gerard.
Rose and Gerard French are part of a group putting off the “Run For The Boys” fundraising event on July 23.