Bikes for the wounded

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EDITOR’S NOTE: DUE TO THE IMPENDING WET WEATHER ON SATURDAY AND THE SAFETY OF THE BIKERS COMING IN, ORGANIZERS HAVE RESCHEDULED THIS EVENT TO TAKE PLACE DURING THE SAME HOURS AND IN THE SAME LOCATION ON SUNDAY.

Coming home from Vietnam, Rev. Gary Sinclair never thought he would receive the negative attention he did, or know how it would affect him. The Vietnam war veteran is now helping to put together an event that will help others in the same position he found himself in after returning from war.

The first annual Pictou Motorcycle Show organized by the Pictou Motorcycle Show Society is a fundraising event on August 18 that will see motorcycles lining Caladh Avenue. It aims to help raise funds for Wounded Warriors Canada, that helps veterans who struggle with post traumatic stress disorder. Sinclair became involved in the project when a friend and neighbour, David McMullen, asked him to help organize the event.

Those on the society also have a personal connection to PTSD as they know someone who is a veteran facing the illness, which is what sparked the idea in the first place.

“He was trying to think how to combine his passions,” said Sinclair about McMullen. Sinclair himself can speak to the difference that treatment can make to the condition. After fighting in the Vietnam war, he returned home in 1970 to an unwelcoming town.

“I had people cross the street to avoid me,” he said. “I was shocked, we were just doing what our government told us.”

After 30 years he was diagnosed and spent time in a treatment facility to help him recover.

“If we can do something to help raise funds for the training of dogs to help people with PTSD get their lives back together, I am all in favour of that,” Sinclair said.

Although the cause is for something serious, the goal of the event is to make sure everyone enjoys the day. For bikes, registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a flat rate of $10. Rain date for the event is the 19th. There will be prizes, vendors, a bike safety course by the RCMP and a silent auction. The event will also feature a children’s fun area with tug of war, face painting, lawn games, a parachute and an art corner.

The event is also teaming up with the Pictou Business and Marketing Society to offer the first 100 people a $5 Pictou coin which will be valid at participating local merchants when they spend $25.

“We want to raise as much money as possible. After meeting expenses everything else will go to Wounded Warriors,” Sinclair said.