How it all began ...

For some years, Rally participants had joined in a meet and greet at the Digby General Hospital and a ride-around Tideview Terrace on Friday morning.

And then, after the Rally was over in 2012, Headquarters received a phone call from the Heart of the Valley Long Term Care facility in Middleton asking why the group of bikers that had circled the perimeter honking their horns in 2011 had not returned in 2012; their residents missed them.

Not knowing what group had brightened the residents' day, the Wharf Rat Rally apologized and suggested that there could be a formal plan in 2013 to purposely send bikers to the facility for a meet and greet. Heart of the Valley immediately embraced that idea.

Just before the 2013 Rally, Mountain Lea Lodge in Bridgetown heard of the planned ride to Middleton and wanted to be included. With the natural route between the two, the second stop was planned, and Bean're was asked if he would lead the ride. Of course he said yes, because, well, Bean're tries to accommodate everyone and everything. That's Bean're.

Those two visits were resounding successes with groups of bikers mingling with residents, staff and family and everyone enjoying each other's company. So much so that the Heart of the Valley phoned to ask if they could host the bikers for lunch the following year. And the next day, Mountain Lea Lodge phoned to offer the same courtesy. The two facilities still rotate year to year which is going to provide lunch!

The tradition of taking the Rally to the people who can't make it into Digby had begun.

In 2015, Villa Acadienne in Meteghan and the Adult Community Living Centre in Clare were added on Tuesday. In 2017, the tradition of offering lunch by Villa Aceadienne was started.

And in 2017, Bean're came up with an idea and turned that idea into Share the Wind.

Bean're purchased a Honda Valkyrie with a Champion Escort Sidecar and brought the unit to Digby. Insurances in place, and waivers signed, Bean're's visits now included rides in the sidecar for residents, staff and famil members. The project literally brought tears to people's eyes. Alzheimer patients who hadn't spoken or smiled for months were brought out of their shells, even if for short periods of time. Staff members heard stories days later of how much residents enjoyed their short outings.40250342 1827135494060281 6477698018316386304 n

With the media generated by Share the Wind, more facilities asked for visits and in 2018, Windsor Elms and Tibbett's Home for Special Care were added on the Monday before the Rally. Annapolis Royal Nursing Home was also added, and Bean're was tasked with individual requests on Thursday and Saturday of the Rally.

And the requests continued to roll in, but alas, the time that Bean're has in Nova Scotia is short. The man has places to be, people to see and so, once again he came up with a solution.

Bean're is making an annoucement in 2019 that he is donating his sidecar to the Wharf Rat Rally so it will be in Nova Scotia year-round and able to be used to give more people rides. With the help of a grant from Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program, the Wharf Rat Rally was able to purchase Bean're's Valkyrie as well as a second complete unit. Both Share the Wind and Share the Wind Too will be visiting long-term care facilities during the 2019 Wharf Rat Rally and adding the Veterans Hospital and Harbourside Lodge in Yarmouth this year.

With the help of Kevin Bean're the Wharf Rat Rally has created a long-lasting legacy. Thank you, Bean're, from the bottom of many, many people's hearts!

Bean're's 2019 Schedule:

Monday 9:30 am Visit LTCs: Windsor Elms, Tibbett's Home PETROCAN Tim Hortons exit 5A Windsor
Tuesday 10:15 am Ride to Acadian Shore Long-term Care Facilities visits Tim Horton's on Warwick
Wednesday 9:30, 9:45am kickstands up Ride to the Long-term Care Facilities in Middleton and Bridgetown Tim Horton's on Warwick
Friday 10:30am Hospital Visit / Tour to Tideview Terrace Behind the hospital on Warwick Street (enter beside Balser's PharmaChoice)
Friday 1:15, 1:30pm kickstands up Ride to the Annapolis Royal Nursing Home Tim Horton's on Warwick