Hundreds of motorcycles roared through Calgary on Saturday as they began the Ride for Recovery.
The event, hosted by the Fresh Start Recovery Centre, hopes to bring awareness to addictions and raise money to allow the centre to keep providing support to those in need.
The 12-stop, more than 400-kilometre ride began on 32 Avenue N.E. at Fresh Start. Riders made their way west through the city, with help from police.
The ride looks to show those struggling with addiction that there is a community behind them, helping them along their journey.
“It could be your brother, your uncle, your colleague,” Bruce Holstead with Fresh Start said. “The face of addiction has no face. It really takes it away and brings it out and shows those with an addiction that life can be fun.”
For those who have dealt with the consequences of addiction firsthand, the ride gives them a chance to share their story to help recovering addicts.
“Having lost a family member to alcohol addiction, it strikes really deep in our hearts to be able to demonstrate support for those that have admitted they have a need and really want to make different choices,” Shirley Voth said.
Money raised from the event goes directly back into helping Fresh Start, allowing them to keep providing a life-changing program.
“The house has given me a lot of support with finding work, getting to work,” Matthew Stewart said. “They’ve also helped me a lot with my health. I’ve gotten back to a healthy state where I’m in the gym every day and eating properly.”
The hope with events like the Ride for Recovery is to help those struggling with addiction get on a path to recovery.
“Don’t be ashamed of getting that help. Get that help if you need it. It’s changed my life completely,” Stewart said.