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Ride for Jeneece offers many twists and turns

The ride begins at Robert V. Ostler Park Saturday at noon and will take participants through the twists and turns of Highway 28

Campbell River’s Noon Rotary Club is offering bikers the opportunity of a fun and scenic ride in support of an important cause this weekend with the fourth Ride for Jeneece Place.

The ride begins at Robert V. Ostler Park Saturday at noon and will take participants through the twists and turns of Highway 28 to a gathering at Gold River’s Piper’s on the Ridge Pub and Restaurant before returning.

Net proceeds from ride donations, a silent auction and the hosted beer garden will go to support Jeneece Place, a 10-room house near Victoria General Hospital that hosts families with children undergoing treatment.

“Jeneece Place requires over $300,000 to run each year, and it’s primarily for those of us on the mid and north island,” said Brian Shaw, one of the Rotary Club ride organizers. “If we’re not supporting it, who else will?”

A ride registration table will be set up at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ostler Park, and riders can go out at any time after they’ve signed up.

“We’re not sending off everybody together,” said Shaw. “The road is so twisty and dangerous that it’s not a good idea to have all the riders massed.

“But it’s rated the best road in B.C. for twistiness and scenery. I’ve ridden it, and it’s a beautiful ride.”

Last year’s ride was cancelled due to inclement weather, and the ride has had an up-and-down turnout depending on conditions. In its best years, more than 100 bikers have taken part.

“The weather is looking good for this weekend, and the bikers will be biting at the bit for something to do to socialize,” said Shaw. “We hope to raise a few thousand bucks for (Jeneece Place), as we do every year.”

Jeneece Place was the dream of Jeneece Edroff, a young girl who suffered from neurofibromatosis type 1. After successful surgery, Edroff became known as “The Penny Girl” as she kicked off a series of penny drives in 2009 that raised more than $1.5 million to help children throughout B.C. The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, then known as the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children, picked up the ball and raised $6.5 million to build, furnish and equip the home, which opened in 2012.

“In the Campbell River Rotary we have a penny drive every Christmas to raise money for children, and this is the exact same thing,” said Shaw. “We have families going to Victoria General Hospital, and we want to help this house keep its doors open to the North Island.”

Non-riders are welcome to donate as well, at the registration table at Ostler Park, at the ride’s midway “rest stop” at Elk Portal or at Piper’s on the Ridge in Gold River.

For more information, call Shaw at 250-204-4064.