Sault Ste. Marie Police Service officers, on motorbikes, led the way for approximately 90 motorbike enthusiasts heading north on Great Northern Road Saturday morning to begin the Algoma Autism Foundation’s second annual Ride for Autism.
Last year’s inaugural ride included about 80 bikers who, through pledges, raised nearly $5,000 for services to help autistic people, ride organizer Jamie Boston told SooToday.com.
“All money goes to the Algoma Autism Foundation and every penny stays local,” Boston said.
While most of the riders were local, two men, one of which runs the Ride for Autism in Ottawa, travelled from the nation’s capital to take part in Saturday’s ride.
“Autism is being more and more understood every day, there’s no cure but we’re definitely moving in the right direction for support services and early recognition of autism,” said Boston, who has an autistic child.
Saturday’s bike route went north to the Searchmont area, then back to the Algoma Autism Foundation’s Family Fun Zone at Runway Park, where a variety of family activities took place.
Admission to Runway Park was free for Saturday’s activities and attractions, which included yoga for kids, free ATV rides for children from Sault Search and Rescue, a dunking booth, mud bogs, booths where children could paint, a fish pond, live entertainment and refreshments.
“Everybody in the autism community needs help and everybody on the bikes is more than willing to help out, and this is a good way to get everybody together, get the bikes out and enjoy the nice weather,” Boston said.
“There’s lots of support and people to help out and lots of community organizations that are there to lend a hand and give direction.”
Highland Ford was one of many sponsors for Saturday’s Ride for Autism.