The third annual Ride For Job Opportunities Enterprise (JOE) drew its largest crowd ever to raise awareness and funds for adults for disabilities seeking employment.
Approximately a hundred motorcycle riders from Guelph and neighbouring cities registered for the event hosted by Bad Bones Riding Club on 8 Royal Rd. to collectively fundraise for the cause.
The day consisted of free pizza sponsored by Pizza Nova, raffle prizes and a JOE coffee table with its participants busy at work.
As many individuals with disabilities struggle to find employment in the community, JOE provides them with work experience and training through their coffee nooks throughout the city and the Bad Bones Riding Club has been instrumental in their fundraising efforts.
“I think the whole club spends hours and hours collecting donations and getting riders,” said a founding member of JOE, Amy Baskin.
“I don't think people realize that riding clubs play a really important role in supporting community non-profits and charities and this shows what they do.”
Baskin said for people learning about the event, she wants them to look up inspired and think ‘this is what a community is.’
She said the founder of Bad Bones Riding Club, Moe Weso’s significant support has helped the organization get a second table at the Guelph Medical Place where JOE participants are able to work.
Weso said his commitment to this annual event is his eagerness to raise awareness for people with developmental disabilities.
As a father to a 19-year-old with a developmental disability, Weso said JOE’s cause is close to his heart.
He said there is a lack of awareness of people with disabilities which can sometimes lead to society mistreating them.
“When I found out the parents were the ones that were paying for everything, I figured I might as well do something to help out,” said Weso.
“The whole thing is for them to come out, have fun, be a part of the community and help it grow.”
MP Lloyd Longfield visited the event to thank the organizers for making such a significant change in the community.
“The job training that goes on here, I mean it really changes peoples lives,” said Longfield.
“We passed accessibility legislation to say everyone in Canada deserves a fair chance for success regardless of your background, regardless of where you're coming from. We all need to support each other.”