A Jasper man will be hitting the winter road looking to raise funds for veterans and first responders in central Alberta.
Greg Van Tighem will be flying to Fort Smith on Sunday and riding his fat bike through Fort Chipewyan – heading to Fort McMurray.
He tells Mix News all the money raised through the 500 km ride will go towards Sheepdog Lodge.
“They have an off-the-grid cabin on a lake and it’s a retreat for veterans and first responders who need a getaway for a variety of different reasons – mental health or other problems.”
People who go to the cabin are also matched with a peer who can offer support for any problems or issues they’re facing.
Van Tighem, who is Jasper’s Fire Chief, says this is a spot where they can get away from their day-to-day lives.
“I have a younger brother who’s been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he’s a firefighter as well, and he went there and told me later it was probably one of the best experiences he’s ever had.”
He adds Sheepdog Lodge is looking to expand their programming including the possibility of adding another cabin.
The hope is to raise around $5,000 over the six-day trek.
In past rides, Van Tighem has raised over $400,000 for different charities including the MS Society, Alberta Cancer Foundation, and the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.