Feature Story                                                                                                       Monday May 30, 2011


Hair Straight Back Forever

The memory of Jesse Pratt lives on with ride to raise money for the BC Transplant Society

Craig Hill/Voice photos


Grant Pratt shows the urn with his son's ashes that accompanies him every year in the ride to honour Jesse and help the BC Transplant Society.

t was a beautiful West Coast spring day May 25 in 2008 when Grant Pratt and his son Jesse, who was 18-years-old and working for Mountainview Harley Davidson at the time, decided to ride their motorcycles up to Hell's Gate.

The Pratt's had just moved to BC from Calgary and they hadn't seen the Fraser Canyon yet, so it made for a good destination.

On the highway, near the Prest Road on-ramp, Pratt glanced behind when he changed lanes but didn't see his son.

Wondering where he'd gotten to, Pratt decided to double back and it was at the overpass where he found him.

For some reason, his son failed to make the curve and left the highway, slamming into the cable barriers running down the centre.

"The cable barriers ended up catching his helmet and pulled his helmet off, said Pratt. "He was airlifted to New West and there we had to make the decision to be an organ donor."

"He was always a hero in life so we figured he might as well be a hero in death," he said adding that "Now we just try to do this every year to honor him and raise a little money for the transplant society because they've been really good to us with support and everything else."

Each year, Pratt and his wife Angela, bring their son with him on the Memorial rides in an urn made out of a motorcycle head strapped on the back of his V-Rod.

"We did it so he could ride with us every year," he said.

On Sunday, approximately 60 riders headed to Stave Falls for a barbeque and a tour of the old electricity plant.

Last year, the group rode to Manning Park and the year before, the first Memorial Ride was to Hell's Gate.

"We like to mix it up and make it fun for everybody, and this year we added the silent auction to try and raise a little bit more for the transplant society."

Pratt says that after the rides are over and everything is tallied up they usually send off a cheque to the BC Transplant Society for $1500-$2000.

Mountainview Harley Davidson owner Dave Johnson told riders that the purpose of the ride was to show support for the family, to honour the life of a "very amazing" young man, and to generate funds to help the Transplant Society.

"For those of you that don't know, through the decision of Jesse's family and his wife, they saved and or impacted the lives of six other people in British Columbia and I'm sure they're very appreciative today of what Jesse provided for them."

"In order to bring a little more attention to this, we're not going to go down the highway, we're going right through Chilliwack and making lots of rumbley noises as we go down the street," said Johnson.

Johnson also thanked The Fraser Valley HOG Chapter for their participation in the event.

For everything Harley in the valley visit Mountainview Harley Davidson at 44768 Yale Road West, Chilliwack or check out their website at: www.mountainviewhd.com

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