Updated: Aug 15
On August 14th, the Brandon Police Service hosted the Brandon and Area regional National Ride for Mental Health - an annual fundraising event through Wounded Warriors Canada. The Ride for Mental Health, "brings awareness to the unique mental health needs of our Veterans, First Responders and their families. RMH is an inclusive community focused cycling event fostering mental conversations and raising much needed funds in support of Wounded Warriors Canada's mental health services" (taken off Wounded Warriors Canada website). This was my first time racing in this event, and the first time Brandon PS organized an area race. A special thank you to our Brandon Police Road Rockets Team Captain Constable Jordan Barbeau for organizing this event, which included a team from Brandon PS, RCMP, E911, and the Canadian Armed Forces.
Prior to the commencement of the race, I had the privilege of praying a blessing over the First Responders. God was faithful to answer that prayer as every participant crossed the finish line and none were injured. I was grateful to God for His protection after hearing several accounts of vehicles passing mere inches away from some packs of riders; this at highway speeds. We were blessed with perfect weather and very little wind in contrast with our race in May for Project Resiliency 911 in which we faced 64 km/hour head winds.
On a personal note, I was able to chase down the lead pack of speedy RCMP officers and finish fourth in the 28 km race. As participants, we raised over $3,300.00 for Wounded Warriors Canada and I'm thankful for the 11 individuals and 2 ministries (Glory2Glory Canada & Resurrection Life Ministries) who donated generously. As we gathered in a restaurant post-race, we all agreed that it had been a wonderful day of camaraderie amongst First Responders in the Brandon & Area Region. We agreed it was a "must do" again for 2023, and I received a note from my Police Chief indicating he will be working on his fitness level so that he can join us next year; we are cheering you on Chief. I'm grateful for our Police Chief Balcaen's support and that of our Police Executive and BP Association.
As police chaplains, we cherish the moments we have to spend time with the officers we serve and love. What better way to build relationships than participating in a little sweat and strain for a good cause. The official date for the National Ride for Mental Health is this Saturday, August 20th (we went 6 days early due to logistics). As a police chaplain, consider checking with the First Responders you serve to see if they are participating in this event, and if so, come out to support them. I'm sure they would appreciate the moral support and/or any degree of sponsorship you may be able to provide.
A special thank you to The Brandon Sun reporter/photographer Kyle Darbyson who reported on the event and has given me permission to use his photographs. The event coverage appeared on the front and third pages of The Brandon Sun on Monday August 15, 2022. Check out the PDF or the link to The Brandon Sun article below.
Keeping Ukraine in our hearts and prayers:
Constable/Chaplain Bruce Ewanyshyn
ICPC Director Region 1