by Stephen Dafoe
It has been five months since local business owner and motorcycle enthusiast Marty Robillard passed away at the age of 54, but the fundraising motorcycle ride he helped to hit the road will continue this year in his memory.
The Mr. MTR (Marty Robillard Memorial Toy Run) will take place June 2, departing from Morinville and making its way around the region.
The route departs from Technical Automotives in the industrial park and will wind its way through Onaway, Alberta Beach, Barrhead, Westlock, before returning to Morinville.
Technical Automotives owner Deborah Robillard said her late husband loved to ride a motorcycle and particularly loved this scenic two-and-half-hour ride.
“He loved riding motorcycle, and he had a lot of friends that did, too,” Robillard said. “Marty always enjoyed this type of ride because of the scenery, and it’s a little more relaxed, and people can take their time.”
It was Marty Robillard’s love of motorcycles and community that lead to the annual ride.
“He thought it would be kind of nice to have something closer to home for those that live in and around the area and would like to participate and help out their community as well,” Robillard said. “A lot of them want to help in some way, shape or form, and this is one way in which they can help.”
In its inaugural year, four years ago, the ride drew about 65 riders. Over the past couple of years, that number had dropped to about 37 in 2016 and 35 in 2017. Robillard is hoping to get the numbers back up to 60 or more as this may be the last year for the annual ride.
This year’s ride will have two recipients. The Midstream Support Society will receive the toys for their annual Santa Store, and the Morinville Lions Club will receive the proceeds from the ride. Robillard said the Lions have a few projects in the community this summer which could be assisted by revenues from the ride.
Marty Robillard had a great love for motorcycles and music. – S Dafoe Photo
Registration packages are available at Technical Automotives in the industrial park, but riders can register the day of the event between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Cost of registration before the event is $25 plus a toy and $30 plus a toy on the day of the ride.
A wrap-up barbecue will take place after the event with 50/50 draw and door prizes. Additionally, Big City Car Wash is offering no cost before and after motorcycle washes for participants.
Donations and new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at Technical Automotives before and during the event.
The event is sponsored by Technical Automotives, Hunters Print and Copy, Morinville News and Road Runners / Tirecraft.
For more information call Technical Automotives at 780-939-3976.