Dedicated dad praises riders

Cam Penner’s son Doug tugged on a motorcycle helmet and roared out at the head of a long line of chromed two-wheelers on June 6.

The annual Ride for Doug, a fundraiser for those with muscular dystrophy, was a roaring success to match the noise of the 77 motorcycles.

“Together with the post-ride barbecue, Doug’s friends both new and old raised a staggering $37,000,” said Cam Penner, Doug’s dad. “This was our highest ever one year total, bringing the RFD nine-year tally to $167,000.”

Doug Penner was two when he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The genetic disease causes muscle atrophy.

Cam founded the Ride for Doug in 2007 and every year it has taken riders from Langley around the Lower Mainland and back for a post-ride meal.

“Together we rode 200 km through Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission,” Cam said of this year’s ride. “A thundering herd of support for those with muscular dystrophy.”

The annual fundraiser is straightforward: Riders show up at the South Langley Church with their bikes, can register and drop off fundraising donations starting at noon, and at about 1 p.m. take off for a tour of the Lower Mainland.

Under scorching early summer weather, this year the two rest stops, manned by volunteers who handed out water, were much appreciated, said Cam.

Doug himself went on the ride, on the back of Cam’s motorcycle.

“Doug did great,” said Cam. “Lots of hydration, but it gets pretty hot in all the gear. And he’s an ‘all the gear, all the time’ kind of guy.”

This year the good weather and a sizeable turnout among motorcyclists led to the new high water mark for fundraising.

“Once again I am at a loss for words,” Cam said in an email. “Our community is incredible.”

Putting together the annual fundraiser is always a big responsibility, Cam said. But when asked if it will run to a 10th year, he said it depends on which day you ask him.

“Doug looks forward to it so much that I don’t know if I could stop it if I tried,” he said.

He noted that it’s kind of hard to stop anything at nine years.

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