A large group of motorcyclists arrived in Gore with a hiss and a roar on Sunday to promote Blue September month, which highlights prostate cancer.
About 70 motorcyclists travelled from Invercargill PlaceMakers to Gore PlaceMakers to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Lead rider Reuben Boniface said this year’s PlaceMakers Bikers in Blue ride was a huge success.
“I’m just absolutely rapt with the way it’s all turned out – we only had 45 riders last time around so the increase is good,” Mr Boniface said.
The foundation provided support for men throughout the country dealing with the disease and Mr Boniface said it was important to raise awareness.
“They really support men with cancer – there’s lots of services from financial support to counselling support to medical support.”
A sausage sizzle and raffles raised money for the foundation and riders attending the Blue September event could also have a blood test.
Rider Julian Smith, of Invercargill, said the experience had been “bloody awesome.”
“It’s been a great day – great ride here [to Gore], great weather, great cause to ride for and some great food.”
In a press release, PlaceMakers chief executive Bruce McEwen said the company was proud to support Blue September.
PlaceMakers had been the principal sponsor of Blue September for the past eight years and raised more than $1.9million for the cause.
Mr Boniface, a member of the Blue Knights motorcycle club in Invercargill, was approached two years ago to host the event in Invercargill.
“We were the first ride outside of Auckland to take place, which is really cool,” he said.
The route was the same as the 2016 event, taking the riders though Lumsden and Riversdale.
”It’s a worthwhile route – it’s scenic and it’s a nice way to ride into Gore.”
The event was held every two years, with the PlaceMakers scooter challenge raising money prostate cancer on alternative years.
Blue September is about getting the word out. If you hold a Blue Do, buy a blue ribbon, paint your face blue, donate money or simply share information with others, you will be directly helping to eliminate death and suffering from Prostate Cancer.
Every year about 3000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in New Zealand and more than 600 will die. The good news is that early detection can significantly reduce the risk of death from prostate cancer. Mostly, men don’t know how dangerous this disease is, they don’t talk to their doctor about it, their doctor doesn’t talk to them about it, or they simply don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation receives no government funding, relying instead on your generosity to help them spread the message for men to get regular checks, fund research that will improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes, and provide support for those who need it the most – the men and their families living with prostate cancer every day. – prostate.org.nz