New Bike-A-Thon Plus event draws a crowd

Members of the Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Service take part in the tug-of-war. Scenes from the Children's Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ont. Saturday, May 27, 2017. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A new event at the Children’s Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus Saturday drew a large crowd at the east end of the Cornwall campus at St. Lawrence College.

Hot and sunny weather provided a welcome backdrop for the inaugural tug-of-war between various emergency services in Cornwall and SD&G.

The test of sheer pulling strength saw teams from the RCMP-O.P.P., Cornwall Community Police Service, the Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Service, and the fire departments of Cornwall, South Dundas and South Glengarry compete for bragging rights.

In the end, the RCMP-O.P.P. team beat the Cornwall Community Police Service in the final match.

Cornwall councillor David Murphy officiated the match-ups, which were interspersed with friendly tug-of-war face offs between children and some adults.

O.P.P. Const. Marc Gadbois, spokesman for the winning team. “It’s a win for everyone. Everyone did a great job. I’m glad we got a lot of people to come out. It’s not an individual thing, it’s a team thing and it’s for a great cause…it was great,” Gadbois said.

“With the O.P.P. we cover a large area and we know a lot of the Cornwall guys as well so it’s nice to see friendly faces in this type of camaraderie yet competition.”

So what was their strategy? “Come in, pull hard. That’s it. Didn’t even practice. First time these guys get together and we did a good job,” Gadbois said.

O.P.P. Const. Marc Gadbois leads his team across the field to shake the hands of the Cornwall Community Police Service members. The RCMP-O.P.P. team defeated CCPS in the final match. Scenes from the Children’s Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ont. Saturday, May 27, 2017. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CTC co-chair Peter Asquini, alongside Caroline Lussier, said the event was a “huge success” and they plan to build on it in 2018.

“I can’t thank the firefighters and the police and the paramedics enough for coming out and doing this. They had a lot of fun and know the spectators had a lot of fun watching it too,” Asquini said.

Asquini believes they had pretty close to a record attendance at the Bike-A-Thon Plus. “We have very high hopes. It’s looking very positive again this year.”

Asquini said it will be about a week before the final fundraising total is available.

The day started with around 250 people from Longue Sault Public School for the walk, followed by approximately 80 motorcycles for the ride, Asquini said.

The Bike-A-Thon Plus is the single largest fundraiser for the Children’s Treatment Center, which treats children suffering from physical, emotion and sexual abuse. The center is funded entirely by the community and receives no government funding.

“We can’t thank the community enough. The services of the Children’s Treatment Center simply don’t happen without the support of the community. To see the families out here…everybody from every part of the community was here today and we can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Click on an image below to open a gallery of photos from the 2017 edition of the CTC Bike-A-Thon Plus.