When Tim Borowski pulled up his motorcycle to his first Ride for Dad to raise money for prostate cancer, he had no idea that three years later he would be diagnosed with the disease.
It’s “kind of a serendipitous thing,” the 58-year-old father of three said on Saturday, during the 13th annual ride on Saturday.
“Did I pick the right charity ride or did the charity ride pick me?”
About 180 riders showed up and helped raise a little over $67,000 for the cause, one day ahead of Father’s Day.
This year’s ride was a 170-kilometre guided tour of Niagara. It started at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 124 in Niagara-on-the-Lake and winded through the whole region, ending up in Niagara Falls.
Borowski and his son, Chris, have been doing the ride together since 2013. And when Borowski was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, it became even more important.
He isn’t the only rider who lives with the disease, ride co-chair Matt King told The Lake Report.
“That’s part of the reason why we do it,” said King.
Borowski, his wife, Kelly, and two of his children have since joined the executive team as a way to get more involved in supporting prostate cancer research and awareness.
Now, as Boroski is about to begin a new trial treatment, the money being raised through Ride for Dad means more than ever.
“In a way, I’m a guinea pig, but somebody ahead of me must have been a guinea pig too, to get where I’m at,” he said.
The ride commenced at 9 a.m. following words from Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa and MPP Wayne Gates. Niagara Regional Police Services led the trek until Kingsbridge Park in Niagara Falls.
The journey ended at Club Italia on Montrose Road with a pasta dinner.
The funds are dispersed locally and support prostate cancer research and awareness campaigns through the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. The foundation decides which local organizations to donate funds to throughout the year.
While some of this year’s recipients are still being decided, $25,000 of the funds will support cancer research at Brock University’s department of health sciences, King said.
King extended a thank you to the NOTL Legion for lending its space and providing snacks.
“Peameal bacon on a bun was a great donation from the Legion, as well as Timbits and coffee from Tim Hortons,” he said.
Ride for Dad originated in 2000 when an Ottawa police officer decided to raise money for prostate cancer research and awareness.
Now, there are 25 chapters across Canada. King, who is a police officer in Niagara, got involved more than a decade ago.