The event started early Saturday morning, May 13th. Riders from Carbonear and surrounding communities lined up their bikes along the field, waiting to drive through a trail that would take them through Carbonear and Harbour Grace.
This marks the second year for the Ride for Quinn, which has become a yearly event following last year’s major success.
Five-year-old Quinn Butt was allegedly murdered by her father in Carbonear on April 24, 2016.
Stacy Lahey, one of the event’s organizers, told The Compass that they were blown away by how many people showed up last year, and that the decision to repeat the event every year came almost instantly after the success in 2016.
“Last year we wanted to do an event to show support for Quinn’s family and raise some money for them,” explained Lahey. “It all came together in about 10 days, and it was amazing how many people came out to show their support for Quinn’s mother and her family.”
Eric Weldon is a member of NL ATV, a group of all-terrain vehicle riders based out of the province. He says that the group was planning a ride through Carbonear last year, which just so happened to be around the time Lahey and other organizers were planning something in Quinn’s name.
Weldon explained that the group decided to take part and ultimately decided on a ride in her memory.
“We’re raising money for charities and basically everything to do with domestic violence,” said Weldon.
“We want to be something of a voice for the community, to show that there are other people out there who suffer from domestic violence, and there are people out there who want to stand against it,” added Lahey.
This year’s Ride for Quinn paid special attention to Katie Costello and her daughter, Maggie, who was a victim of domestic violence. Money raised during this year’s Ride for Quinn will be put toward a down payment for a wheelchair accessible home for Katie and Maggie, as well as a donation to the neonatal unit at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s.
“The ride will always be called the ‘Ride for Quinn’, but every year we want to use the money we raise to support different people and different causes,” said Lahey. “This year Maggie’s story came to our attention, so we want to lend a helping hand to her and her mom as best we can.”
Despite some snowfall early in the morning, the event saw around 300 bikes gather together. At the end of the ride, riders got together to draw for different prizes, including a patio set and some signed sports jerseys, along with a barbeque and live music.
At the end of the event, a total of $11,550 was raised, which will be donated to Costello and the neonatal unit at the Janeway.
Next year’s Ride for Quinn is already being planned, said Lahey, and will likely take place sometime in June.