GLOBAL CHARITY GEARS UP TO FIGHT CANCER AND SUICIDE
On Sunday September 25, cities around the world will once again be filled with dapper gentlefolk astride vintage-styled motorcycles for the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.
Founded in Sydney in 2012 by Mark Hawwa, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) started as a local charity event, and has become a global movement that last year raised US$2.3 million for prostate cancer charities.
The first ride and the event’s overall style was inspired by a photo of actor Jon Hamm in character as Mad Men’s Don Draper, decked out in a tailor-made suit riding a 1957 Matchless G3LS.
Those taking part go all in, with everything from boiler suits to tuxedos on display, and immaculately groomed moustaches and beards to match.
This year funds raised will be split for the first time, with 10 per cent going towards mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. The reason behind the addition was very personal to the DGR team. “Last year one of our ride hosts committed suicide. He was passionate about The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and hosted it for four years,” said Hawwa from his Sydney base.
“His death led us down this path to achieve more than just awareness of prostate cancer but to get men talking more about their emotions as much as we have made them talk about their prostates.”
With just over a month to go before the 2016 event, Hawwa set high goals for this year’s ride.
“Last year we raised US$2.3m. We had over 410 cities across 80 countries with 40,000 participants. This year we are attempting to raise USD$5m and believe by September 25 this will be across over 500 cities and 90 countries,” he said. “Our most charitable event in New Zealand was hosted by our good friend Mike Andrews. He led the Auckland riders to raise a whopping US$21,511, making it in our top 20 rides globally.
“A huge effort. New Zealand raised $50,000 last year and we are excited to be there again this year” said Hawwa.
All funds raised will be invested in local and global prostate cancer research and suicide prevention programmes by the DGR’s charity partner, the Movember Foundation.
Since 2003, millions have joined the foundation’s men’s health movement, raising US$715m and funding more than 1000 projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention.
Their vision is to create a world where men are socially connected, comfortable talking about the big things in life and able to take action early when health issues arise.
Triumph Motorcycles is continuing its support.
The most outstanding fundraisers globally will be awarded one of Triumph’s modern classic motorcycles.
For more information on how to get involved, or to donate, head to the official DGR website: gentlemansride.com