RED DEER, Alta. (NEWS 1130) — The pandemic may have slowed us down, but it can’t stop us.
That’s what the organizer of the fourth annual Rolling Barrage motorcycle rally says as more than 200 riders make their way to Kelowna from Halifax in support of veterans and first responders recovering from trauma.
Scott Casey, who’s the president of the advocacy group Military Minds, says this is more about raising awareness than cash.
“Money hasn’t really changed the amount that we raise because all we do is raise through registration. The ridership, however, has gone from 250 riders up to 900 now, but this year, we’ve seen a marked decrease because of COVID-19.”
He adds the first rally was in 2017.
“It was Canada’s 150th birthday and it was also the 100th anniversary of Vimy, so that’s where the name for the ride the Rolling Barrage comes from is the Rolling Barrage fire that the Canadian troops used in advance of their attack on Vimy Ridge in the First World War.”
This year’s ride started Aug. 3 and wraps up Friday Aug. 21.
Casey, who is a former Canadian Army peacekeeper and spent time in the former Yugoslavia, now lives in Merritt, B.C.
He admits the 2020 coast-to-coast journey is shorter than it normally is.
“We’re actually not coming into Vancouver this year. There was some difficulties thanks to COVID-19. We are going to be making it as far as Kelowna. That’s where our finale will be this year, unfortunately.”
Any money raised will be spent on operational retreats across Canada.