'Helped way too many injured riders': Non-profit raises funds, awareness, for injured motorcyclists | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Helped way too many injured riders': Non-profit raises funds, awareness, for injured motorcyclists

The Interior B.C. Association for Injured Motorcyclists is hosting its annual Halloween Bash fundraiser at the Vernon Elks Lodge Oct. 26.
October 11, 2019 - 7:00 PM

It’s the worst-case scenario for bikers: A horrible crash that leaves a motorcyclist injured and unable to work.

There are services available to those in need, but they take time to acquire. In the meantime, there are groceries to buy, bills to pay, and expenses that pile up.

Enter the Interior B.C. Association for Injured Motorcyclists.

With its roots going back to 1980, the association aids motorcycle accident victims and their families and stretches from Osoyoos to Williams Lake and further as required.

“We do anything from cutting their lawns or getting their bike back from the tow yard or we pay their rent,” said Tracy Kucera, secretary for the association. “We don’t help you fix your bike. We help you ensure your household is taken care of when you go down.”

ICBC statistics show an average of 2,400 crashes and 1,600 injuries involving at least one motorcycle per year, based on 2013 to 2017 reports. According to the B.C. Coroner’s Service, 51 motorcyclist deaths were recorded in 2018. It was a 50 per cent increase over deaths in 2017. The Interior saw 16 of those 51 fatalities.

Kucera said the association doesn’t actively seek out victims of accidents but makes support decisions based on incoming referrals and requests. The number of motorcyclists supported each year varies based upon need and resources, but Kucera estimated a range from 12 to 36 riders helped annually.

“We’ve, unfortunately, helped way too many injured riders,” Kucera said.

While the association’s support goes beyond financial aid, Kucera said it is a costly endeavour.

To raise funds for victims of motorcycle accidents, the association is preparing for the 2019 Halloween Bash at the Elks Lodge in Vernon Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Rockin Randy’s Music Service will supply the tunes as patrons seek out costume prizes and a 50/50 draw. A potluck midnight snack is included.

“It’s one more fundraiser that ensures that we have those funds to aid those in need,” Kucera said. “It’s just one of those other fundraisers we do for the bikers who don’t want to give up their bike just yet.”

As a secondary fundraiser for the association, which relies heavily upon its annual summer Boogie Bash, Kucera said the primary function of the Halloween party is to promote the volunteer association.

“Even though the season has stopped, there are riders that still need help,” Kucera said.

Tickets to the Halloween Bash are $15 per person or $25 per couple. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

-This story was updared at 9 a.m. Oct. 12 to correct a typo.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Parker Crook or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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