I rode into a parking lot that already had about 75 bikes in it! There were a number of booths where you could get a coffee and a cookie, Snowflake Bracelets etc...everything seemed very well organized for an event only in its second year.
The Bikes Against Bullies event was started by Tneesa Tyerman and her mom Kymberley.
Tneesa's step sister Sophia went to school with Amanda and wanted to do something positive and so this became a family affair with Tneesa's dad, Tracy, Kymberley's ex-husband also getting involved. It was amazing to me how everyone from the two blended families just dug in and made this a spectacular event - a free event that raises funds by selling shirts and other items like bracelets and through donations.
|Tracy, Tneesas, Dad, and his wife|
|Sarah Karkouch giving donation to Carol Todd|
I got to meet Carol Todd after she had addressed the audience.
Carol is an amazing public speaker who captures your heart and makes you feel the pain a mother feels when their child self destructs. Amanda had made some mistakes in judgment that she paid with her life for. The cruel taunting of those who bullied her created more pain in her head than she could deal with.
Carol has many suggestions she offers to parents and to kids alike, like forced offline time and making sure that there is family time.
Bullying is horrible to experience, and many of us were bullied in school and sometimes on the job so to some extent we can identify with our young people today. BUT with the advent of the internet, bullying has become relentless. In a matter of no time at all, people can be whipped into a frenzy and thousands of people can pick on a person they deem as weak or odd in a heartbeat.
The result of bullying for Amanda Todd was that she took her own life. The cyber bullying had spilled into the school yard too and it became more than Amanda could bare and yet she created a video to help others: http://amandatoddlegacy.org/amandas-you-tube-video-original/
Amanda was also the victim of extortion, watch the 5th Estate Episode on her story: http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2013-2014/the-sextortion-of-amanda-todd
The extortion along with the bullying, the shame, the regret, the pressure was too much for this young woman to bare.
Carol Todd, Amanda's mom has started the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund meant to aide in support and awareness campaigns. Carol herself does a lot of speaking at schools and to parents.
|The Riders of 2014|
I was proud to play a small part in the 2014 event and look forward to playing a larger part as a sponsor again next year. Watch for the episode on the Bikes Against Bullies event on Ride Like a Local on YouTube in December!
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider