Ride for Dad: How REALTORS® Across Canada are Supporting Prostate Cancer Research

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Fathers and father figures are celebrated every June for their impact on the people they’ve raised and supported. Though their contributions and dedication are felt year-round, Father’s Day is a chance to show them our support.

As REALTORS®, giving back is often a key component of business, and, once again, many REALTORS® across Canada are supporting men and dads in a big way during the annual nation-wide Ride for Dad charity events.

What is the Ride for Dad?

The Ride for Dad raises funds for the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation to save lives and improve the quality of life for men and their families living with prostate cancer. The ride, established in 2000, brings together motorcyclists and volunteers in dozens of communities across Canada to fundraise, raise awareness, and ride together in honour of those affected by this type of cancer. 

Early detection is vital in stemming the mortality rate associated with prostate cancer. As the third leading cancer-causing death in males in Canada, the Ride for Dad pays special attention to encouraging men over 40 to monitor their prostate health. With more than $40 million raised to date, the ride has helped fund life-saving awareness campaigns and vital prostate cancer research for communities across Canada.

While the rides happen on different dates in different cities, most tend to hover around the Father’s Day weekend. 

There are REALTORS® across Canada who commit to the ride every year to support the men in their lives. We’ve caught up with a few to learn more about what Ride for Dad means to them.

Did you know the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation organizes an annual Ride for Charity, as well? Check out their website to learn more.

Image via Keeley Ward of herself her husband and Jason McCoy country music superstar and spokesman for the Ride For Dad

Keeley Ward, a REALTOR® and salesperson in Whitby, Ontario

Keeley Ward of KIC Realty shares her deeply impactful and personal “why” for participating in the Ride for Dad.

“My dad taught me to ride a motorcycle when I was five years old, and I have now been riding for 55 years!” she tells us. “We have so many amazing memories of riding together for so many years, and then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was something ‘new’ back then, and they didn’t really know how to treat it, much like many cancers. He didn’t want to undergo surgery or chemotherapy, so he decided to attempt some natural alternative medicines. Wonderfully, we had another 10 years with him, until the cancer spread to his stomach, bones and eventually his brain…and then he was gone. Our local ride is in June of each year, and I treat this day, this event, as my own personal Father’s Day and I ride with a photo of him in my pocket. As we pull out, engines roaring, I say to him ‘This is for you, Daddy’.”

Keely has participated in the Ride for Dad since 2009, and describes the  most impactful part as. 

“Meeting the people, hearing the stories… for many years we took our kids on the back of our motorcycles and introduced them to the community, and the wonderful feeling of participating and giving back.”

For Keeley, giving back is second nature and transcends into her real estate career. 

“It is so important, mainly because if it wasn’t for the community we wouldn’t be here,” she says. “The members of our communities who entrust us with the sales and purchases of homes for themselves and their loved ones give us the ability to do something we are passionate about every single day.”

Terence Tait, a REALTOR® and salesperson in Whitehorse, Yukon

Terence Tait of RE/MAX Action Realty in Whitehorse says his team at RE/MAX Action Realty has sponsored Ride for Dad events dating back to 2016. 

“As title sponsors of the local Whitehorse ride for five years, and a passionate involvement in earlier and later years, the Ride for Dad is definitely a fundraiser our team prioritizes,” Tait tells us. “Guys just don’t tend to get themselves checked out, which is why the awareness piece of this event is so important. Deaths from prostate cancer are preventable, and with events like Ride for Dad shining a light on the importance of a regular prostate exam, lives can be saved.”

Learn how REALTORS® are giving back to their communities each year by reading our article about REALTORS Care® initiatives across the country.

<em>Image provided by <em><a href=httpsridefordadca target= blank rel=noreferrer noopener><em>Ride for Dad<em><a>

Gail Bibeau, REALTOR® and salesperson in Fort McMurray, Alberta

In Fort McMurray, Alberta, Gail Bibeau at Royal LePage Benchmark has been supporting the ride in her community by curating appealing auction items for participants to bid on.

For Bibeau, it all started when a good friend and past client asked her to donate an auction basket for the fundraiser portion of the event. 

“I am not sure how long I have been a supporter of the Ride for Dad, but it’s been an ongoing event in our community for many many years,” she tells us. “[Each year] I do my best to make it unique, and match the theme of the event and, of course, attract top bids. Giving back to my community is something I enjoy doing, and supporting the people who spearhead events like the Ride for Dad is made infinitely more fun and successful with the support of us community members.”

Reflecting on the power of the awareness of the disease, Gail says, “I think education is knowledge, and this event helps promote men’s health..”

<em>Image via Angela Langtry and Matt Ballantyne<em>

Angela Langtry and Matt Ballantyne, REALTORS® and salespeople in Montreal, Quebec 

Angela Langtry and Matt Ballantyne  have participated in the Ride for Dad for several years.

“We all have someone close to us who has been affected by cancer,” Langtry shares. “My dad passed away from throat cancer. Matt’s dad recently won the battle against pancreas cancer, and his mom survived cervical cancer. I have had friends and their family members both win or lose to cancer as well. The Ride for Dad is a fantastic way to bring everyone together to raise awareness and collect funds to support.”

The best part of the ride? “Definitely the parade with everyone on the streets cheering us on. I have seen people holding thank you signs, and people looking very emotional as we ride by. It’s absolutely touching.”

Welcoming their first son to the family a few short years ago, Langtry and Ballantyne have had to pause their participation in the ride, but they are both eager to continue spreading the word and awareness about prostate cancer screening. Being a new father himself, Ballantyne understands the importance of helping this community.

“The community hires us to guide them through one of the most important investments of their lives,” Langtry shares. “We feel that it is important to give back, and the Ride for Dad is a great way to participate and support the community in return for their trust in us.”

This is just another example of how REALTORS® are giving back to the communities in which they work and live.

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