21 Jul 2015 Mireia || Big Brothers Big Sisters

A Niagara motorbike tour led by stars of a world-famous crime drama has raised at least $35,000 for a mentorship program.

Canadian Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates, who plays Tig, joined U.S. castmate Mark Boone Junior to lead the Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Catharines-Thorold and District’s Ride for Kids Sake.

The event, now in its third year, helps raise cash for their Game On! group mentoring program for boys and young men.

“We left from the Pen Centre, rode around for an hour” said Coates, 57, kicking-back after the Saturday tour. “So we dipsy-doodled through tons of acreages, through vineyards and gorgeous country.

His friend Boone, who plays Bobby in Sons, added his thoughts during an interview with local media inside a trailer at the Pen Centre: “We saw old houses and new houses, intermixed,” said the bearded actor. “Swamps, forests, maples!”

“And the cops did a great job stopping the intersections, so we didn’t stop once,” Coates added. About 15 VIP riders joined the group, with the main ride bringing in about 250 biker/fundraisers.

“We had a nice turnout … last year, we made about $35,000 and we’ll make more this year,” Coates said.

“It’s really all good.”

Coates says he cares strongly about the charitable cause, “and I’m Canadian (from Saskatoon), and it worked out perfectly with my timing; right now I’m filming Goon 2 in Toronto.”

Sons of Anarchy ended last year after seven seasons and both actors say they’ve continued working.

“It was a long time, seven years,” Coates reflected.

His best memory: “It was the guys that I worked with… honestly, there was 10 leads when it started. You … rarely hang out with people when certain things are done, whether it be a movie or TV show. In the seven years on that show, all the love-ins, fights, the ‘can’t wait to not see you’ when we were wrapping in November, and ‘can’t wait to see you’ when we started in May.”

“Truly, that happened every year.

“For me, I think it was time to stop that show, it went a little nuts for me at the end.”

Coates recalls an amusing anecdote: “I remember Charlie and I looking at each other on the fourth show and going ‘we’re killing who? and why?'”

“We got seven seasons (as originally hoped for) … a bookend at the beginning and a bookend at the end. We’ve all moved on, and we’ll never forget it.”

Boone says it’s become very clear the show has an enduring fan base. “It’s hard to know what its impact is, until you run into people who are just absolutely obsessed and crazy about it.

“And that audience keeps expanding.”

Dale Davis, the local Big Brothers/ Big Sisters CEO, said the ride is the “only money that we receive to support the Game On! program.”

“The agency is facing some challenging financial times, so we really need to focus on the need for support for mentorship — and all the young boys who are waiting.

“If we don’t reach the goal, we’re not going to be able to match them in the program this fall,” she said. “So it’s serious.”

don.fraser@sunmedia.ca

Twitter @don_standard

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The connection between the local Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and Sons of Anarchy actors.

A Ride for Kids Sake committee co-chair knew one of the Sons of Anarchy promoters and was in contact with him to arrange the involvement of Kim Coates (attended 2014/15), Theo Rossi (2014) and Mark Boone Junior (2015).

Coates has been a “huge supporter” of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

– In 2014 BBBS was able to provide the Game On! program to 257 boys in 23 schools across St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara-on-the-Lake with funds raised from the Ride for Kids Sake event

– from a Game On! release

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For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Catharines- Thorold and District visit www.bbbsmentors.ca

Source: stcatharinesstandard