On June 24, 2018, one day after what would have been Raja’s 44th birthday, people came together to honour a young man who was lost in a motorcycle accident.
Raja’s tragic story is becoming all too familiar in the motorcycle community. After mourning his passing, Raja’s family decided to turn this tragedy into something positive. They created a charity in his memory – MSCCF (Mandeep Singh Chema Charitable Foundation). Their mission is to aid local youth who need the community the most. In doing so, MSCCF has been able to assist kids in foster care to gain access to essentials once they age out of the foster care system. MSCCF has provided bursaries to kids to further their education.
This annual fundraising memorial event ran like a well-oiled machine. At the helm was Micca Chema – Raja’s loving sister. Micca has created a loving team of family members to grow their charitable foundation. Their love is evident in the planning of this special event from preparing meals, table clothes, bouncy castles to raffles, vendors to special guests, they have it all covered.
Walking around the event you can feel the love and positivity. Everyone is here to support this great quest.
Listening to the special guests such as, Unstoppable Tracy, a multiple award winning inspirational speaker, born a 4-way amputee she has climbed Himalayan mountains, captained a 110 ft ship, won a paraskiing bronze medal and today, rode a motorcycle for the first time! Or the Brock University student who grew up in foster care only to meet these wonderful people who not only provided her with a bursary for continued education, but more so became her extended family.
The people partaking in this event ranged from political leaders, Paralympic medallist, avid bikers, business owners, students and children. No matter their background, everyone was there for the same reason. To memorialize a great man and to raise funds for a great charity.
Breakfast was available as everyone arrived to register for this great day. Although rainy and overcast, riders still came out with one vision in mind – to Ride for Raja. With a last-minute route adjustment due to weather, the riders prepared to roll out. As we moved outside, the family could be seen lining the curb with flags and as the rumble of the bikes took off, standerby’s were left with clouds of blue and green powder to mark the departure.
Upon their return, the riders were able to enjoy a special lunch made with an abundance of love. Children played basketball and bouncing in a bouncy castle, while parents enjoyed the vendors. In the end, the charity raised $31,000 in 5 short hours.
The day concluded with many hugs and much gratitude and the beginnings of the plans for next year’s event! To date, this charitable foundation which is 100% volunteer based, has made over $125,000 in the past 6 years. In years to come, they expect to grow and continue to raise funds for kids who would otherwise not have such opportunity.
By Traci Arroyo