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County cheers Friends for Life cyclists with bottled water

PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff, and councillors Gord Fox, Jim Dunlop and Steve Ferguson handed out more than 250 bottles of water to Friends for Life cyclists including, above, Jack Coop, Glenn Gundermann, Mark Moriz and Jeff Stevenson.

PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff, and councillors Gord Fox, Jim Dunlop and Steve Ferguson handed out more than 250 bottles of water to Friends for Life cyclists including, above, Jack Coop, Glenn Gundermann, Mark Moriz and Jeff Stevenson.

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff and councillors Jim Dunlop, Gord Fox and Steve Ferguson handed out more than 250 bottles of water to thirsty cyclists on Monday.

The Friends For Life Bike Rally cycled through the county on day two of the 600km journey from Toronto to Montreal in support of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA).

Horns honked and drivers waved and cheered the cyclists as they awaited the next ferry at Glenora, heading to their next stop at Adolphustown.

The Prince Edward County section is Jeff Stevenson’s favourite leg of the journey. This is his 11th year participating.

“It’s the most beautiful part of the route. It’s so picturesque,” he said, noting that morning’s rainfall slowed the group down a bit, “but it was actually refreshing after the heat on Sunday.”

He rides in memory of friends who have died from AIDS and in support of the PWA’s efforts.

“I also ride to help unknown people who rely on the support provided by PWA. There are a lot of young people who think they’re at the end of their rope and Toronto People With Aids brings hope,” he said. “Having HIV is like having any other disease and should be treated as such. Raising awareness is also so important.”

Mayor Quaiff said the small act of kindness goes a long way to promoting the County.

“Once people come here and have a good experience, they’re likely to come back,” he said. “It is also nice to support peoples’ efforts and the cause they believe in. It was good to hear they were enjoying a smooth ride through the County and they didn’t have to travel down Highway 49!”

In its 18th year, the Bike Rally is expected to raise more than $1 million for PWA. The largest AIDS fundraiser of its kind in Canada, the ride has raised over $14 million and has become the sustaining fundraiser for the Toronto agency. PWA is the largest direct support service provider for people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada, providing such services as meal and food programs, treatment and therapy programs, and financial assistance.

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  1. Bill McMahon says:

    As you noted in your article this is the 18th. PWA Bike Rally that has passed through the County on their 6 day, 600 km trek from Toronto to Montreal. At long last the mayor & some members of Council have finally recognized this annual event.

    This year, on Monday July 25th, Day 2 which is the longest day of the Rally covering a distance of 126 km from Port Hope to Adolphustown, saw the cyclist’s making 2 scheduled stops in the County. Their first was at the 82 km mark, for lunch at Henderson House in Consecon. Heather Marr and her wife, Chantale Grondin, owners of Henderson House have been long-time champions of the Bike Rally and have hosted the cyclists at their home for Day 2 lunch for many years. Shortly after the 2015 Bike Rally, Heather suddenly passed away. To commemorate Heather’s generosity of spirit and kindness, the route from Consecon to Schroedter’s Café and Bakery for a post lunch break at the 103 km mark was dedicated in her memory. The Rally participants picked up a purple ribbon on the way out from lunch and wore it in honour of Heather. The afternoon was spent following Loyalist Parkway (Hwy 33) into Picton and up the largest hill of the ride and on to the Glenora Ferry. Once they were on the other side, it was a short ride to camp, and the longest day of the ride was over.

  2. Nick Nowitski says:

    Well it was nice to see that the Mayor and a few Councillors finally noticed that the PWA ‘Friends for Life’ cyclists were cruising through the County. Their acknowledgement of the group added publicity that is appreciated. But, where were they over the last 10 years when the participants and support crews (nearly 300 strong) stop in Consecon to have a free lunch, provided by Village volunteers, at the old Henderson House?

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