Okanagan bikers rally to raise funds for diabetes

A bike rally held in Okanagan Falls two weeks ago is looking to become an annual event after raising $4,500 for juvenile diabetes.

A bike rally held in Okanagan Falls two weeks ago is looking to become an annual event after raising $4,500 for juvenile diabetes.

The rally raised the money for Shalee’s Walk, a local charity which collects money to pledge towards Shalee McAfee, the granddaughter of one of the rally organizers, Carol Agate, in the annual Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes.

McAfee, now 12, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was five years old.

The walk unites communities across Canada to raise funds to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. Last year the event raised over $7.5 million and they have targeted $7.9 million for 2012 to direct more funds to research than ever before. In the Okanagan, the walk will take place in Kelowna on June 10 at Mission Creek Park Greenway.

The rally featured a bike show, beverage gardens, children’s theme park, a battle of the bands and many other attractions.

Greg Rhyarson, the owner of the OK Falls Hotel and organizer of the event, said aside from some minor changes they will be looking to make, the event went well.

“I think one thing I want to work on is try to find a little more area for the bike show, and that we try a little harder with getting a few more bands,” he said. “Otherwise, it was pretty well picture-perfect.”

He noted that the kids’ park and beverage gardens went “phenomenally,” and that they managed to sell over 650 buffalo burgers over the weekend — a show of how many people were coming through the event.

As well as offering a fun weekend of bikes, bands and buffalo burgers, the rally was also extremely safe, saidCpl. Martin Trudeau of the Penticton RCMP.

“The organizers were absolutely fantastic to work with; we met early, we discussed every potential option, and there was absolutely no issues whatsoever,” he said.

Rhyarson pointed out that there wasn’t a single complaint lodged against the Okanagan Falls bike rally from any local businesses or homes.