Ryleigh’s Ride deployed to raise funds for Sick Kids Hospital


Fourth Annual Fundraiser Held in Sudbury to Benefit the Hospital for Sick Children

Ryleigh’s Ride rolled out of the A&W parking lot on Long Lake Road in Sudbury on Saturday with the roar of nearly 100 motorcycles.

This was the fourth year for the event which is done in support of the Sick Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Ryleigh’s Ride started in 2019 as a thank you from the family of Ryleigh Valcourt. The baby girl was born premature in 2018 and required life-saving surgery.

Ryleigh’s mother, Kerri Chevrier, said Sick Kids Hospital literally saved her daughter’s life. She recalled how all the fundraising started.

“And so things started in 2019. After my daughter was born in 2018, and spent the first three months of her life at Sick Kids. My husband wanted to give back to the hospital that saved her. So we decided to start the bike rally. The first year we had about 35 bikes. It was small. It was pouring rain. And then we got bigger every year. Last year we had 127 bikes, 187 riders and passengers. We’re a little less this year, obviously, because of the weather. But I think we still have a really good turnout. And I’m just excited to see everyone here,” Chevrier said.

Four-year-old Ryleigh Valcourt showed up for the rider registration event at the A&W restaurant on Long Lake Road. Many riders knew her and were delighted to see the child.

Sadly, Ryleigh’s father, Johnny Valcourt, died in a motorcycle accident in 2021. But it was decided that Ryleigh’s Ride would continue in his honor to support the hospital fund, and also in tribute to his daughter.

Chevrier said she continues to support the hospital because her daughter still needs specialized treatment there, which is not yet available in Northern Ontario.

“She needs pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric neurology and we don’t have the facilities or the staff here yet. That’s why I’m a big advocate for support at Sick Kids Hospital and we also have a lot of families from the Northern Ontario who have to travel.People from all over the country who have to go to these big hospitals because they don’t have them in the small towns.

The annual ride takes riders to Espanola and then to Little Current on Manitoulin Island for lunch and some sightseeing. Afterwards, the runners return to Sudbury to enjoy a celebratory dinner at Garson Arena.

Those who cannot ride but wish to support the cause can still donate online.


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