Winnipeg, July 19, 2019 – There will be thunder in the streets tomorrow when the Manitoba chapter of the Commandos Canada Motorcycle Club rolls into town to show their support, and raise funds, for the Veterans who call Deer Lodge Centre home.
Media are invited to attend:
Commandos Motorcycle Rally – Show and Shine for Deer Lodge Veterans
Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 1:45 p.m.
Deer Lodge Centre
2109 Portage Avenue
East Parking Lot (enter via Woodlawn Street)
Nearly 120 riders will line up their bikes in the parking lot outside Deer Lodge Centre’s Day Hospital, where Deer Lodge Veterans, residents and visitors will be able to view them and meet the riders.
Speakers will include representatives from Deer Lodge Centre, Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, the Operational Stress Injuries Clinic, and the Commandos Canada Motorcycle Club. They will be available for media interviews at 2:30, following a brief speaking program.
The Commandos are a national, not-for-profit club comprised of active and retired members of various branches of Canada’s Armed Forces. Since forming in 2015, the Manitoba chapter has raised funds for a number of initiatives supporting those in need, especially Veterans. Deer Lodge Centre is home to more than 50 Veterans, including some who served in the Second World War.
“These men and women are our heroes,” says Jerry Hart, president of the club’s Manitoba chapter. “We want them to feel proud of the service they’ve given to our country. We want them to know that we have not and never will forget them.”
The club is also hosting a “Bud, Spud and Steak” Fundraiser the night of Saturday, July 20, at Canad Inns Windsor Park from 6 to 9 p.m.
“We want the proceeds to support an outing for Deer Lodge’s Veterans,” says Hart, “whether it’s a luncheon or a trip to the zoo or an afternoon at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights—whatever they choose.”
The club will also direct a portion of the proceeds to support the Operational Stress Injuries Clinic at Deer Lodge Centre. The Clinic, funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, treats military and police personnel suffering from mental health conditions sustained while on duty, whether those injuries are the result of deployment, operations, or training exercises. It treats more than 1,000 people per year, and the number keeps rising.
Both events are part of the Commandos’ National Rally, which takes place in Winnipeg from July 18 to 20. The three-day gathering includes meetings and rides through Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Riders will be joining the Manitoba chapter from as far away as Atlantic Canada, Vancouver Island, Fort McMurray and Idaho.
Most members ride Harley Davidson motorcycles, but Hart says a few Victory, Kawasaki and Indian Motorcycles will be on display at Deer Lodge on July 20.
“We ride because it’s therapeutic,” explains Hart. “On the road we’re a brotherhood, just like we were in the military. Together we’re Veterans supporting Veterans, because no Veteran should be left behind.”
Deer Lodge Centre has a long and proud history of caring for Veterans. Its motto, Making Lives Better, reflects this history—from 1916, when a military convalescent hospital was established for returning WWI soldiers, to today, as military personnel and Veterans continue to be treated alongside a large population of patients and residents from the broader community. Today, Deer Lodge Centre is a progressive, 418-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility providing a variety of in-patient, out-patient and outreach programs for all members of the community.