COMMUNITY SPIRIT - The Iron Society Independent Riding Club spearheads three events a year, and is involved in many more, raising money for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, among other causes. To date they have raised in excess of $50,000 for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation. photo submitted

Central Alberta riding group gives back

Iron Society IRC raised over $50,000 for health foundation

A local independent riding club has made a huge impact in the lives of others for the last seven years and their generosity continues to grow.

“We had looked at doing some charity work within our group of riding friends, which became Iron Society as an Independent Riding Club,” said Randy Hellmer.

“We kicked the idea around of which charity to do because there are so many charities where the overhead is really high, so we wanted to do something more for our local community and it came down to the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation for the NICU unit.”

To date, the Iron Society IRC has raised in excess of $50,000 for the cause.

Some of the equipment purchased with the funds includes a jaundice meter, scientific lab freezer, pediatric infant scale and mobile cart, feeding pumps, medical exam procedure lights and a scientific medication fridge.

“If they can’t use it for neonatal, we have said use it for your next immediate need,” said Ken Scott, a member of the Iron Society IRC.

One of their biggest fundraising events of the year is the Big Hearts Charity Ride of Red Deer, which took place in July. Plans are already in the works for next year’s event.

But the group does much more than that – in 2015 they organized the Bott Ride in memory of the three Bott sisters who were killed in a farming accident near Eckville.

In 48 hours they organized nearly 500 bikes and raised $27,000.

They also did The Ride for Erica last year raising more than $5,000 for a young girl who had to go to Florida for medical treatment. Another $2,600 was raised for the Aging Well Society of Delburne – this has become an annual ride.

“We are family-oriented. We want families and kids to come to the poker runs,” said Scott.

Hellmer added the poker runs are not just limited to motorbikes.

“Last year we had a small group of hot rodders. We’ve always left it open. We’re still working on the car clubs and the show and shine guys. It’s really a family event.”

Another big event for the group is the annual Iron Society Coffee Run which takes place around the holiday season.

“We go down and we get coffee and donuts and muffins and we hit all the wards and we drop it all off right before the holidays,” said Hellmer, adding they also participate in the Central Alberta Toy Run, the Cody Dennis Memorial and much more.

“Our charity – we don’t take anything back. Anything we make goes 100 per cent into the cause,” said Matias Battauz, a member of Iron Society IRC.

In addition, Hellmer said they are going to sell memberships to the Big Heart Charity and will be selling 2,500 tickets at $20 each.

The winner will receive a Honda 750 with a custom paint job. “We are going to pull a draw on that one – if you buy a membership for $20, you’ll have a chance at winning the bike,” said Hellmer.

Marc Leclaire said he is involved with Iron Society IRC because he loves giving back to the community.

“I thought it was a great group of guys and we get to help out the kids,” he said.

Derek Beeston agreed.

“I enjoy giving back to the community. It’s something that is close to my heart and my family has always been doing charity work, so I’m just continuing it on.”

For more information, check out ‘Big Hearts Charity Ride of Red Deer’ on facebook for more.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com