Pasadena woman helping Charlie Bear on his trip around the world

Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK — Yolande Modica can’t quite explain it, but there’s just something about a teddy bear.

“I’ve got two kids,” said the Pasadena mom to Logan, 2 1/2, and Sofia, nine months. “I know what a teddy bear does, I know how a teddy bear calms a child down.”

She said you can take a child that’s got a tummy ache, or teething or hungry and give them a teddy bear and their troubles are gone.

So when Modica stumbled across a special bear in need of a ride she knew she had to help him.

Modica, a baker with a passion for biking, is one of hundreds of motorcycle riders participating in the World Wide Relay Ride with Charlie Bear. The journey around the world is taking place to raise awareness and funds to help children with life threatening illnesses.

The plan is to direct all money raised to Make-A-Wish America and Make-A-Wish International. Modica said riders are not affiliated with the charities and don’t collect any money. Instead they direct donors to the World Wide Relay Riders website,, or encourage them to support a local children’s charity.

Charlie left Mesa, Ariz. on July 4 and travelled to Calais, Me. before crossing the border into New Brunswick and then to Nova Scotia. Charlie was supposed to travel to Newfoundland via Marine Atlantic’s Argentia run, but got bumped to Port aux Basques due to the Blue Puttees being taken out of service.

That travel bump resulted in St. John’s rider Tony Harnum putting out a Facebook plea looking for a rider to get Charlie across the island. “I saw that story for a reason,” said Modica. “It just touched me in a way I’ve never felt before.”

Charlie made the crossing from North Sydney, N.S., in her brother Andre Noseworthy’s transport truck and she drove out to Port aux Basques to get him on Monday. Since then she’s been showing Charlie around on her Yamaha FZ6 and documenting his visit for the relay. Charlie’s been all around Pasadena, including the beach, sightseeing at the Man in the Mountain, Marble Mountain, the train museum and up to the Captain Cook Monument.

Modica and her husband, Maurizio Modica, plan to drive Charlie to Grand Falls-Windsor on Friday where they’ll meet up with Harnum. He’ll then take Charlie to St. John’s before shipping him back to the United States to continue his journey.

Organizations: World Wide Relay Riders, Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Pasadena, Sofia, Port aux Basques Mesa, Ariz. Calais, Me. New Brunswick Nova Scotia Newfoundland North Sydney Marble Mountain United States

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Recent comments

  • Alex T
    August 29, 2013 - 20:40

    Well Mrs. Modica I am truly sorry that I missed your pleas for assistance. I would have jumped at the chance to make the ride and I am sure I could have rounded up a few of my riding buddies that would have did the same. Over the past 29 years I have been raised money for the Ride for Sight and the Ride for Dad and this seems like a good cause. If by chance this turns into an annual event and you want to contact local riders there are a few groups that will probably step up to help. Northern Stars of Newfoundland and Labrador, easiest way to contact them is through Facebook or their web site. Another group that might help is the Harley Owners Group, just contact your local harley rider. Maybe next year we can answer your call for help and turn this into a provincial relay. The kids are worth it. Good luck with your ride and ride safe.

  • Lisa
    August 29, 2013 - 20:26

    This. Lady is a very good client of mine. I'm very proud of her and her accomplishments. She is truly an amazing person and mom. Very cute idea. Indeed.

  • Alex T
    August 29, 2013 - 09:44

    It's great that Mrs Modica stepped up to continue the relay but she missed out on an opportunity to raise a lot of money for the cause. With a little publicity she could have put out a request to other west coast motorcyclists to join her and raise some money. It would have created much public awareness of the journey and further help with raising funds. It would have been awesome to arrive in Grand Falls-Windsor with a motorcade of motorcycles and Mrs. Modica and Charlie leading the way. Final note, before the haters start to hate, this comment was not to take away from the efforts of Mrs. Modica. I commend her for stepping up to continue the relay, however, I think it was a missed opportunity to increase public awareness and to raise money for the cause.

    • ymodica
      August 29, 2013 - 11:54

      Alex, I agree with you 100%. However I disagree with missing an opportunity . You see efforts were made. I single handedly announced my intentions with this ride and advertised from Stephenville to Deer Lake welcoming any riders to join me in this great cause. There's nothing more moving than a large group of motorcycles covering the Km's for a single cause. I advertised on social media, classified sites, posters were put and mysteriously taken down. I was disappointed to come up so empty handed. With regards to raising money, the relay isn't collecting money directly. It's merely raising awareness for sick children and encouraging residents that when you have a couple of extra dollars to donate it to a children's charity such as the wish foundation or any charity for that matter. You never know when your extra couple of dollars could help make a world of difference to someone in need. Going forward , it has been one of the most rewarding and gratifying things I've ever had the opportunity to take part in. I'm hoping it will become an annual event.