Clarenville family organizes fundraiser to help hostel
Ride for Rhett set for Sunday, Sept. 29
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.