Jasper’s Fire Chief just completed a 500km trek along the Fort Chipewyan Winter Road to raise funds for veterans and first responders in Central Alberta.
On March 18, Greg Van Tighem flew to Fort Smith and rode his fat bike all the way to Fort McMurray.
Van Tighem says money from donations is doing to the lodge – which will act as a sanctuary for first responders and veterans.
He tells Mix News conditions were not as warm as he was expecting.
“It was colder, and the road was really hard which was a good thing from one end because there was no slush or mud or anything, everything was frozen solid. But it was pretty rough because when it was frozen, it was pretty bumpy in certain spots so at one point I broke my seat, and actually lost my big thermos water bottle.”
Van Tighem points out that vets and first responders are not always open to talking about emotional problems and the lodge will hopefully allow them a place to feel comfortable.
He says it will act as a sanctuary or a retreat for first responders and veterans.
“Lots of people go there perhaps because they’ve been diagnosed with an operational stress injury or PTSD. Others just go to get away from the grind, sometimes marital problems. It’s just a good getaway place.”
Overall, Van Tighem says he was able to raise around $4,000.