The Friends for Life Bike Rally originated as a 6-day, 600 km bike ride from Toronto to Montréal and is the sustaining fundraiser for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation.
At a critical financial time for PWA twenty one year’s ago co-founders Danny Nashman and David Linton came up with the idea of a fundraising ride that saw 42 participants take to the road and raised much needed funds to help keep PWA operational. In 2016, the Bike Rally introduced a 1-day, 110 km bike ride from Toronto to Port Hope. Now in its 21st year, the 2019 event will introduce a 3-day ride, after research conducted by the bike rally’s multi-year planning working group it showed that existing and prospective participants wanted more flexibility and fewer barriers to joining. This new initiative will allow participants the opportunity to experience the same exhilaration of the arrival all during the new arrival date, Montreal Pride.
The Bike Rally helps PWA by supporting its ability to provide critical services and support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto. The Bike Rally has engaged over 3800 participant as cyclists and crew and has raised over $16 million dollars for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA). Bike Rally Participants of all ages and levels of experience share a common passion in supporting their friends, family and neighbours living with HIV/AIDS. Raising critical funds and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS is what the Bike Rally does for PWA. The Toronto People with AIDS Foundation is the largest practical support service provider in Canada serving people living with HIV/AIDS. Funds raised through the Bike Rally ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS get access to programs and services that nourish their whole self in a welcoming and healing space.
In Toronto, thousands of people are living with the virus that causes AIDS and approximately one-quarter of Canada’s HIV positive population live and access care here. The challenges facing people living with HIV are numerous and complex: episodes of illness, numerous life transitions, discrimination, financial difficulties, social isolation, side effects from medications and long term effects from the virus – to name but a few. PWA provides a safe place to express those concerns and a place where practical information and support services are available. The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA) is the largest direct support service agency of its kind for men, transmen, women, transwomen and children living with HIV/AIDS in Canada. Every year PWA provides over 30,000 unique services to more than 2,500 individuals.
For more information on the Friends For life Bike Rally please visit www.bikerally.org. PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally is truly an experience of a lifetime and you are part of helping to make a positive difference for people living with HIV/AIDS.