Above: Family and friends of Lorette Champagne showing their support at the Roger Champagne Memorial Bike Award presentation.
by Lucie Roy
The 25th presentation of the Roger Champagne Memorial Bike Award took place Friday morning at the Morinville Community High School with students in attendance.
The bike was presented by Lorette Champagne and her nephew Jim Douville with Champagne family members and relatives taking part. Jarvis Van Brabant was this year’s recipient.
Roger Champagne was an ardent supporter and an invaluable help in ensuring that the “Annual Jasper Ride” took place.
Douville spoke on behalf of the family.
“We started this 25 years ago, back in March of 1994 when Roger left our family,” Douville said. “Roger and his wife were just retired and were out in Vegas and a young man looking for money for his drug habit, unfortunately, took advantage of that and took his life. We started to do this then to celebrate his life and what a great way to keep the memory alive of a great man. The very first kid that was presented a bike is 43 years old now. He was your age, standing here getting a bike. Roger was a pretty remarkable man and this has kept this going and for more years to come.”
The Roger Champagne Memorial Bike Award is presented annually to the Physical Education 30 student who demonstrates determination, a strong commitment to physical fitness as well as strong interpersonal and leadership skills.
The Roger Champagne Bike Ride is in its 27th year and MCHS teacher and trip organizer Greg Boutestein and seven students are scheduled to depart on Wednesday for that trip, which includes Van Brabant with his new bike.