St. Marys Journal Argus
Their home detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are scattered around the province — including as far away as New Liskeard, in the case of the National Anthem-singing (and Happy Birthday-singing, since it was Evan’s Touch the Truck namesake Evan Leversage’s sixth birthday on Sunday, and the audience of over 400 was led through a rousing rendition of the song) show announcer — but the 20 members of the Golden Helmets precision motorcycle team come together as a tight-knit crew around 30 times per year in locations around Ontario. This strong camaraderie was evident in St. Marys on Saturday, Sept. 13, as the team gathered to perform on Queen Street.
Carol Dufton took the opportunity before the show began to bring her grandson, Benjamin, to meet the team members and see their bikes. They struck up a conversation with Constable Liz (nickname “Cindylu,” according to her helmet) Newton of the Aurora OPP detachment. She says the 800-pound Harley-Davidson (an Ontario Harley dealer is the corporate sponsor for the team) “Police Specials” with 1,690 cubic centimetre engines are the bikes used by each team member on regular highway patrol . . . and they don’t trailer them to each Golden Helmets performance location. They ride them all around the province (the photo below shows the troupe donning their fluorescent green OPP rain suits and preparing to leave the Stonetown in unison on Saturday afternoon).
Constable Newton says if Saturday morning’s rain had persisted through the Golden Helmets’ 11 a.m. performance time, the show would have gone on nonetheless. “If there’s only one person to see the show, we perform. I have never seen them cancel it.
“We work in the rain, so we ride in the rain,” smiled the Constable, who uses her bike to patrol Highway 400 between Richmond Hill and Barrie.
By then, it was almost time for the performance to begin. After a couple of preliminary runs up and down two downtown blocks of Queen Street, the riders dismounted and a short opening "flag-placing" ceremony was held.
Lead rider Constable Craig Cambridge of the OPP’s Northumberland (Cobourg) detachment handed over the flag of Ontario to six year-old Evan Leversage, in whose honour the annual Evan’s Touch The Truck event is held in St. Marys to support the Childcan organization for families of kids with cancer. Holding Evan was his Mom, Nicole Wellwood. Standing nearby were his cousin and big brother, who were given similar flag-holding duties for other flags.
The Golden Helmets precision motorcycle team performed for over half an hour, then spent a few hours at Evan’s Touch the Truck on the Flats, once again meeting with the public.