Cooper Pirtle recognized by Canadian Transplant Association.
Photos courtesy of the 2nd Chance Trail Ride on Facebook
Over 200 riders braved the weather, on Saturday, to ride the Iron Horse Trail, between Lindbergh and Elk Point, in support of organ donation. The 6th Annual 2nd Chance Trail Ride raised $70,000 in their efforts, and just as importantly, brought continued awareness to organ and tissue donation.
Organizer, Cathy Ockerman, along with the continued organ and tissue donation campaigns, the group raised money for a new initiative this year, “we formed a new partnership with St. Joeseph’s College and will be able to subsidize the use of their dorms during the summer months to help transplant recipients with accommodations while they go through the recovery process. This is in addition to the apartments that we have.” The organization also partners with the Good Hearts Foundation to provide apartments in Edmonton for families, and transplant patients, to stay in while going through the recovery process. On top of the accommodations, 2nd Chance Trail Ride assists patients and their families with the costs associated with the process and medical treatment, says Ockerman, “we will continue to help individuals with gift cards and financial aid”.
Ockerman says the group also received praise for their work on the national level, “the Canadian Transplant Association presented a special award this year to a youth that works tirelessly to promote organ and tissue donation. This is the second year that the award has been awarded and the recipient was Cooper Pirtle!” Cooper is a grandson to Morris and Fae Irvine and Ockerman’s nephew, “He has been promoting our cause for 6 years through various events.” Morris Irvine, Ockerman’s father, is a double lung transplant recipient and founding member of the 2nd Chance Trail Ride.
Also new this year, the group moved the after party dinner and dance to Elk Point’s Allied Arts Centre (previously it was held in Heinsberg). Ockerman says the change was welcomed by all, “the change in venue allowed for a bit more elbow room for the auction and supper. the trail is a bit shorter than going to Heinsburg, but overall there were no major hiccups.” There were 475 plates for supper, and 204 participants in the ride. Ockerman guesses that the weather likely played a part in less riders than diners; but was gracious to see everyone come out, regardless of if it was for the full day or just the dinner/dance.
It would be a huge list to express gratitude to each and every individual and organization that supports us! Each year we are fortunate to have extremely generous supporters and participants. we couldn’t do it without them. – Cathy Ockerman 2nd Chance Trail Ride.
In time for the trail ride, the group also filled their Canada 150 birthday card, confirms Ockerman, “we have reached our goal for the Canada 150 challenge and have surpassed it.” The birthday card was circulated around Alberta and signed by transplant recipients.