Bikers send anti-bullying message through the Fraser Valley
VANCOUVER -- Dozens of motorcyclists revved up their engines Saturday morning, sending a loud message against bullying.
The annual Bullying Awareness Ride rumbled its way from Langley, to Fort Langley, and over to Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford before making its way back to the starting point.
Organizers say the goal is to send a strong message against bullying.
“A bunch of motorcycles rolling through a community always catches some attention -- and we're doing that in a very positive way, of course. We want to make sure that everybody knows we're out here in supporting the kids and that we want to just make the world a better place,” said David Toner, co-founder of Burnaby’s Bikers Against Bullying chapter.
For Toner and his wife, Sandra Martins-Toner, the ride also serves to honour their late son, Matthew, who was murdered in a random attack near a Surrey SkyTrain station in 2005.
Matthew was 16 years old.
The pair channeled their grief by giving back to the community.
“We've been involved in the community ever since, trying to create awareness around kindness and compassion, and making the world a little bit better place,” Toner said.
The couple has helped feed hungry families in the community, done charity work in the Downtown Eastside and has been mentoring at-risk youth.
They also found solace riding on their motorcycles; when they learned about Bikers Against Bullying, they decided to merge their love for riding and philanthropy together.
“This is just another extension of keeping his name and his legacy alive in the community,” said Martins-Toner.
The group also holds anti-bullying seminars in schools, provides supports for bullying victims, and offers mentorship to those who are bullies themselves.
To learn more, visit StopBully.com.