Almost 50 motorcycles toured around Grand Cayman to raise money for an animal rescue group at the weekend in the second annual Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association’s “Cruisin’ to the Rescue” motorcycle ride.
The ride and following barbecue were to benefit Canine Friends, which rescues and shelters dogs, primarily from the Department of Agriculture, and eventually flies them to the United States and Canada where they are given new homes.
During the motorcycle ride and barbecue on Sunday, June 28, almost $2,400 was raised in support of Canine Friends. Members rode from the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm, through George Town, up South Sound and East End, and ended at North Side Public Beach, where they hosted a barbecue, bike rodeo, and raffle.
Casey Keller, one of the founding members of Canine Friends, said that the donation was crucial for her organization. “This donation will go a long way in helping our rescue dogs, whom we affectionately call Cayman Coconuts,” Mrs. Keller said. “Our vet bill is pretty substantial each month. We do not have a facility, so all of our rescues go into great foster homes here where we provide everything that they need before we fly them off, so that is also costly.”
Canine Friends has its sights set on an island free of stray or neglected animals. “Our ultimate goal would be to not have any unwanted, abandoned, or abused animals on the island, which can only happen through education, spaying, and neutering,” Mrs. Keller said.
Canine Friends has rescued and rehomed 457 dogs since October 2012.
The Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association was founded 10 years ago and does three benefit rides a year, benefitting its chosen organizations of Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, and Canine Friends.
Mrs. Keller’s husband Keith, who is president of the Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders Association, explained the significance of these charities. “Canine Friends is a group that works tirelessly to help animals that have been neglected and dumped. As animal owners it is a great organization to support and is good for the community,” Mr. Keller said.
“Meals on Wheels is equally as important as the elderly should never have to go hungry,” he said. “Some children do not get to experience [Christmas] due to family situations … being able to collect and distribute over 1,000 toys each year is just a win-win.”
The next ride will be for Toys for Tots in the second weekend of December, and will also be used to mark the motorcycle association’s tenth anniversary.
Sponsors who provided prizes and other support during the event including Flow Yoga, Sunshine Grill, Cost U Less, Island Veterinary Services, Hollywood Theatres, and many more, the organizers said.