There are times when a group of motorcyclists may appear to be trouble. In Fort Langley, on the last weekend of July, more than 80 motorcycles, and numerous individuals, came together to be the furthest thing from trouble - they wanted to be part of the solution.
Everyone has history. Some good, some not so good. This common tie led to the creation of the Ride into History, one of the fundraising events to support the Salvation Army's Gateway of Hope.
"We [the ride's organizing committee] were talking about it and thought about Fort Langley's history and that led us to the Kwantlen First Nation's history," said Troy Gaglardi, director of operations at Gateway of Hope.
The discussion of history soon linked to the fact that the people at Gateway have history and stories too. That's when it became clear that the ride needed to include a variety of aspects to honour history.
"It was said by Kevin Kelly, of the Kwantlen First Nation at the opening night of the event, that there was a real appreciation of how the community of Langley was a good neighbour, " Gaglardi noted. "That just communicated the principles of the Salvation Army. People helping people."
The three-day event kicked off with a celebratory song by the Kwantlen First Nation, then was followed by a concert inside the walls of the Fort Langley National Historic Site for an audience of 350.
"We finished up just before the mosquitos came out," joked Gaglardi.
The actual ride of the weekend was on the Saturday.
The five stops along the Ride into Historyy route included a military museum.
"We came back to the Gateway of Hope for lunch," he said. The students of the cooking program made a great lunch."
In the evening, the Kwantlen First Nation hosted a salmon banquet at the Fort. Both Langley mayors were in attendance with their wives for the event.
"The Fort Langley Lions made breakfast for everybody," Gaglardi said.
It was City of Langley Mayor, Peter Fassbender, who originally came up with the idea for the ride in a meeting with Gaglardi, Marq Smith of Western Powersports and John Aldag of the Fort.
Overall, Gaglardi estimates $10,000 was raised through the event. This money will go directly towards the Opportunities program at the Gateway of Hope. The program provides participants with the transition skills and support they need to break the cycle of addiction and create a new life.
When asked about why it was so important to focus on history, Gaglardi replied, "It came down to that piece that looks at we're one big family. It's really important to have that connection."
The 2013 ride has already been scheduled. Watch for updates at www.rideintohistory.ca.
@ Copyright 2013