Marc Hovingh Memorial Ride, Run or Walk honours legacy of fallen OPP officer

Participants in the Marc Hovingh Memorial Ride, Run or Walk leave the J.H. Burt Memorial Arena in Mindemoya Saturday under police escort.

MINDEMOYA—A veritable swarm of bicycles set out from Mindemoya’s J.H. Burt Memorial Arena at 9 am on September 10 with the goal of honouring the memory of PC Marc Hovingh, a popular OPP officer who died in the line of duty in 2019. This was the second year for the event, which raises money for the Ontario Provincial Police Youth Foundation, “an organization that mirrors what Marc’s life displayed, providing those in need of assistance.”

“I think it is a great event,” said OPP North East Region Superintendent Mike Pilon who attended the launch of this event. “Marc was a very front and centre figure here on Manitoulin Island for a few decades. He served most of his career here and his family is fantastic. We are happy as the OPP to support them and to not only commemorate Marc but also to raise some money for the OPP Youth Foundation, which the Hovingh family are very supportive of. From a North East Region perspective and an OPP perspective it is important for us to be able to support that. There are a great number of cyclists here today and there will be a run and a walk as well.”

“We are just so grateful,” said PC Hovingh’s widow Lianne Hovingh, “there are no words—we are just so grateful for all of the love and support, and obviously for remembering Marc today—so grateful for that, for the organizers, the OPP Youth Foundation and to all of the people who donated. One of the highlights of today is the kids.”

Ontario Provincial Police Youth Foundation representative Sandy Poredoa noted the importance of the event for her organization. “A day like today is important to the Youth Foundation because we are here to celebrate Marc Hovingh, what he has done for our community here and his legacy,” she said. “Today we are going to give away 10 bicycles and, partnering with the OPP Credit Union, 10 helmets. New this year, we are also giving away 10 sets of running gear to 10 additional identified children to help them reach their full potential. Marc was all about the children and our mandate is children in the province, but today we are focussing on the children of Manitoulin, the youth and the community.”

There were a total of 148 participants in the Marc Hovingh Memorial Ride, Run or Walk, with a mix of cyclists, runners and walkers. In addition to those who took part on Manitoulin Island, another 20 individuals participated in their home communities.

To date the effort has raised over $17,000 for the OPP Youth Foundation, with over $800 contributed onsite in bills and coins alone by passerbys during the event. The donation link will remain up until September 25.