Clarenville fam­ily or­ga­nizes fundraiser to help hos­tel

Ride for Rhett set for Sun­day, Sept. 29

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - BY SARAH BUR­TON

At only 16 weeks-old, Rhett Goodyear is al­ready in­spir­ing good things in the world.

The smi­ley, blue-eyed in­fant is the rea­son be­hind a new an­nual fundraiser that will ben­e­fit the Ron­ald McDonald House in St. John’s.

Dubbed the first an­nual Ride for Rhett, or­ga­niz­ers an­tic­i­pate a good turnout of recre­ational ve­hi­cles and rid­ers on Sept. 29.

Rhett’s par­ents, Mitchell Goodyear and Ma­rina Pen­ney, were ac­com­mo­dated at the Ron­ald McDonald House, fol­low­ing his birth on May 11.

The in­fant, who was born pre­ma­turely, has Down syn­drome. He re­quired ex­tended care at the Janeway.

Kevin Goodyear, Rhett’s grand­fa­ther, says the idea came about af­ter vis­it­ing the baby and his par­ents at the hos­pi­tal.

“My son and his girl­friend were in St. John’s for six weeks, so they were lucky enough to get into the Ron­ald McDonald House, and have a place to stay,” says Goodyear. “We went out on week­ends to visit them and the grand­son, so I said to my wife, Val, ‘You know . . . I’m go­ing to or­ga­nize a ride’.”

He got a com­mit­tee to­gether and the idea quickly gained mo­men­tum.

The event is now a full day of ac­tiv­i­ties, beginning with a 125km ride from Clarenville to Terra Nova.

There is a Poker Run on route where rid­ers will draw cards at var­i­ous points around the route. Vol­un­teers with Special Olympics will sell bar­beque re­fresh­ments upon their re­turn. The day con­cludes with a dance for par­tic­i­pants at the Bill Davis Chalet at the El­iz­a­beth Swan Park in Clarenville.

Goodyear says there has been an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from rid­ers and the business com­mu­nity.

“There’s a lot of in­ter­est in it, I must say, and the business sec­tor in Clarenville has been ex­cel­lent. We have all sorts of prizes do­nated.”

There is no fundrais­ing goal in

mind, but Goodyear hopes to col­lect a sig­nif­i­cant amount.

“I’d give them a mil­lion dol­lars if I could, but I can’t,” he laughs. “But no mat­ter what it is, it’s all go­ing to help the Ron­ald McDonald House.”

How­ever, he says, they could use more vol­un­teers.

“The more peo­ple who get in­volved, the bet­ter it is,” he con­cludes. “And the more bikes we get, will make the run good. Then hope­fully, next year, we’ll do the same thing again.”


Kevin and Va­lerie Goodyear with their grand­son, Rhett Goodyear, who is 16 weeks-old. The first an­nual Ride for Rhett takes place Sept. 29, de­part­ing from the Old Rail­way Sta­tion in Clarenville. Their fundraiser will aid the Ron­ald McDonald House.

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