Whitehorse’s ninth annual Ride for Dad is happening … and you can help out.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, approximately 11 Canadian men died of prostate cancer each day in 2017. Approximately 58 men were diagnosed each day. This means 10 per cent of cancer deaths in Canadian men last year were from prostate cancer, and 21 per cent of new cancer cases in men were prostate cancer. While research and treatment are continuously improved for better results and recovery rates, prostate cancer won’t go away without the help of those who can give.

Ride for Dad is one of the most well-known and consistently successful fundraisers for prostate cancer. This year, the ninth annual ride day will take place, and the long hours and endless commitment from volunteers could make this year one of the best yet.

Organizers of this year’s event have high hopes for what the big day will bring. “This will be the ninth ride in the Yukon,” said Ride for Dad Yukon vice-chair, Sean Secord. “Every year there have been more riders, except for the last couple of years. We’ve hit a threshold of around 190 people, but we’d like to meet 200.”

In the Yukon, Ride for Dad puts together two main flagship events a year. One is a comedy show, each January, and the other is the ride day each June. Over the past year the organization has seen some triumphs, with the comedy show selling out and the ride event bringing in donations that have gone a long way. This year has been a special one for another reason, as well, however, as in October Ride for Dad Yukon hosted a summit, at which researchers presented what they had used Ride for Dad’s funds to research. At this summit the Ride for Dad Yukon chair, Mike Thorpe, was awarded the 2017 President’s Award for all of Canada.

“He does put a lot of his time, money and resources into this cause,” Secord said of Thorpe. “Mike is being recognized for the amazing amount of work he’s done as a volunteer and a leader.”

The ride is almost completely run by volunteers, the only staff being a few national representatives employed in Ottawa. Secord maintains the position that board members of Ride for Dad Yukon share duties and devote their spare and personal time to helping run the organization.

Money raised in the ride has been put towards what Secord describes as “groundbreaking technology.” Ride for Dad Yukon has been able to raise enough money to give a $50,000 cheque to Dr. John Lewis and his group of researchers in Alberta.

This year, with enough donations and contributions, they will be able to further the process of funding new research and discovering new treatment for prostate cancer. Over the past 17 years that Ride for Dad has been happening, incredible achievements in the field have been made with help from the organization, according to Secord.

The ride takes place Saturday, June 9—kickstands up at 11 a.m. sharp. Pre-registration is June 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Shipyards Park and will feature a performance from Ryan McNally. On June 9, the day will begin at Shipyards Park with a free breakfast at 9 a.m., a show and shine, and ride-day registration for those who missed Friday evening. Speeches and presentations will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a parade at 11 a.m. The City of Whitehorse has provided a parade route from Shipyards Park, along Front Street to Main Street. The parade will finish with a photo opportunity at the overlook of Miles Canyon.

The bike ride will travel around Jake’s corner and the Tagish-Carcross Loop, with stops at supporting businesses along the way to pick up tickets for prizes.

To find out more or to donate, visit www.ridefordad.ca/yukon.