BLNDC cooks lunch for 160 bikers

Burns Lake Native Logging helps out

Staff volunteers to go to Kitwanga and cook for 160 bikers

  • Aug. 4, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The 10th annual Chip Run in Smithers this year was a huge success. The 230km round trip motorcycle ride happened on July 24, and saw 109 bikers participate in total.

The ride is organized by Lainie Waterhouse whose brother, Bob, passed away in 2011 from cancer. All funds raised go directly to the Community Cancer Care Team (CCCT) in Smithers.

“My brother, Bob, was the Frito Lay rep out of Smithers. And so he delivered chips from Smithers to Kitwanga daily, so that’s why we call it the Chip Run,” said Waterhouse.

The Chip Run started in Smithers, and returned to Smithers, with the turn around spot in Kitwanga—exactly like Bob’s usual work route. The ride this year ended at the home of a friend, who hosted a silent auction, and a dinner with music and games for the riders.

Bikers came from as far away as Ontario, as well as BC towns and cities like Langley, Mackenzie, Kamloops, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Burns Lake, Hazelton, Smithers and Houston. Forty-four riders came from Prince George alone this year, said Waterhouse.

The ride always involves a game of poker. Participants buy poker hands, and at end of the ride, the best hand receives 50 per cent of the funds raised, while the other portion goes to the CCCT in Smithers. They also sell patches, and shirts for the ride.

This year’s patch had an image of a cross bones, and a banner across the bottom that read, “10th Annual Chip Run 2021,” as well as “F*** Cancer”—a slogan used frequently at the Chip Run.

Waterhouse’s brother, Bob, was only 45 years old when he passed from cancer. His battle with it lasted only a few months.

“He was diagnosed in April 2011 with cancer, and passed away July 27 from it. So just a short battle… three months. The first year we got together, it was mostly family on motorcycles… Family and friends. And we managed to raised $1500 dollars.”

The money that year went to purchasing a new chair for cancer patients receiving treatments to sit in. Bob had lost a lot of weight throughout the time he was sick, and found the chair he often had to sit in at the cancer clinic uncomfortable. It was replaced with a Lazy Boy recliner chair known as the “Bob chair.” It’s a hit with the patients now, said Waterhouse.

And the Chip Run has grown by 10-20 biker participants each year since that first event was hosted.

The highest amount raised was in 2019, totalling $20,000. This year looks like it will beat it, but Waterhouse won’t be ready to announce the total until later next week.

“It hits everybody… And the more that I’ve gotten into organizing this, I hear almost daily somebody that I know, their family or friend, or somebody, has been fighting it. It hits everybody, so when people hear that it stays local, they’re really willing to support it,” she said.

The run also has a number of sponsors and volunteers who help see it through. This year, gold medal sponsor Ed Levick of Burns Lake was presented with a plaque for his efforts, said Waterhouse.

Levick works for Burns Lake Native Logging Corporation Ltd. operated under Burns Lake Native Development Corporation (BLNDC). Both organizations sent six volunteers to Kitwanga to cook up a pulled pork and potato salad lunch for the bikers on the Chip Run.

“For us it was simple, because we all have history with cancer,” said Tanya McLean, executive assistant with BLNDC, who has numerous family members who have battled cancer, and some who passed away because of it.

“Anything that has to do with cancer, in my opinion, is a worthy thing to volunteer for. And once one of our employees (Ed) asked us to volunteer and cook for this, there was no hesitancy in doing it,” said McLean.

The event Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/267131676735068

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