What kind of motorcycle does a comedian ride? A Yamaha-ha-ha.
That is just one of the jokes served up with coffee Saturday morning as members of the Bad Bones Riding Club prepared to embark on the annual Ride for J.O.E.
“Our bikers are here to support J.O.E,” said J.O.E Project Manager Nicole Marchesseau. “J.O.E. stands for Jobs Opportunities Enterprise and what we do is provide innovative entrepreneurial opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.”
The event was started last year by Moe Weso president of the Guelph chapter of the Bad Bones Riding Club.
“I work at Guelph Medical Place and my boss gave them a space to sell coffee,” said Weso. “When I found out the parents were the ones paying for their job training I figured I might as well throw this event to help fill their pockets a little bit.”
It was an exciting and welcome offer for the J.O.E. team, that sells coffee and tells jokes to raise money for the project.
“J.O.E. started five years ago,” said founding member Amy Baskin. “There were eight families and all of us have an adult son or daughter with special needs or a developmental disability. We were looking for ways to be involved in the community especially when they leave school because there aren’t a lot of opportunities.”
A member of the group contacted Bill Barrett from Planet Bean and he offered to help out.
“He said we can give you some good rates on coffee,” said Baskin. “So, we partnered with them and since then it has been building. It is very grassroots with a lot of hands-on work by families and community supporters.”
The J.O.E. team has two regular locations in the city. One is at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library downtown and the other is at the Guelph Medical Place on Dawson Road.
“We also do pop-up cafes if there is a company that wants to do some coffee catering,” said Baskin. “We are going to be at Vegfest. We are going to be at Ribfest and those kinds of things out in the community as well.”
Local businesses donated prizes to raffle off during the event Saturday and there was also a 50/50 draw.
“This is the second year Moe and his group has done this and they really do all of this,” said Baskin. “They do all of the work and we just show up to make posters and coffee. It is pretty amazing. They put in tons of their time.”
Bad Bones Riding Club members from chapters in Hamilton, Niagara, Collingwood, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph joined other local bikers for the three-hour tour.“We have riders from all over the place,” said Weso. “We have Ghost Riders. We have Bad Bones and we have people who just like to help out. We are riding up to Hockley Valley and back and Pizza Nova is going to be around to give out free pizza to everyone when we’re done.”