On September 30 more than 120,000 partcipants worldwide took part in the annual gentlemen’s ride, adorning themselves in their most distinguished suits and ties and riding on classic and vintage motorcycles.
This was no ride for pleasure; the sole purpose of this ride was to raise money and awareness for men’s health.
Sydney-based motorcyclist Mark Hawwa and founder of Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) says he believes DGR is an excellent way to overcome the typical-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, while also bringing men together.
The first ride took place in 2012 and Hawwa decided to host the ride annually to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.
Last year 56,000 owners of vintage motorcycles and scooters raised $4.85 million in 581 cities. Their goal was to raise $6 million dollars this weekend, which would then be donated to the Movemeber movement.
After a ride host from Austin, Texas committed suicide in 2015, Stephen Broholm, marketing and public relations at DGR and the rest of the team decided to donate a major percentage to men’s mental health issues as well.
Riders from Pakistan even commented on the pertinence of the ride.
“I believe it is a great way to counter the negative stereotypes sometimes associated with men riding motorcycles,” Gul Hasan said. “It’s also a great way to meet new people and openly discuss issues related to men’s health.”
Adel Khalid, a rider from Pakistan’s Lahore said there were quite a bit of stigma surrounding men’s health issues in Pakistan.
“I did not even know about prostate cancer until a few years ago when I found out that my father was diagnosed with it,” Khalid said. “I believe in this cause and much-needed awareness to avoid other people getting affected by it.”
Overall, the organization is working hard to combat and raise awareness to the public, letting individuals know that three out of four suicides are done by men. Despite the seriousness and sadness of suicide, these men are working to create a large impact. Broholm said IP clinical programs were opened and anytime there was a major breakthrough it would help everyone globally.
From the DGR’s website, “our focus is on gentlemen who have been dealt a tough hand in life.”