History of the Durham Divas

Our Founding Members
Our founding members were women who were a group of new riders or women interested in getting their M licenses. Like bikers often do, they met up periodically at Tim Horton’s and talked about their shared passion DD1
for motorcycles and road trips. One day Sylvia Spice, our founding president, had a brain wave to start a club just for women; there were no local ladies’ clubs in the Durham Region. Thus was born the Durham Divas in October of 2004 ♥ Women Born to Ride. From this small Tim Horton’s group came our Founders: Sylvia Spice, Natalie Griese, Lisa NassoAnnette Scott, Haija WilsonBarb Doherty, Marilyn FergusonCecile Govan, Janet McKnightMary Anne Donahue and Carol Potter

Sylvia’s Legacy – our Annual Charity RideSylvia2[1]-1
Sylvia Spice, our founding president, worked in respite care and was very active in our local community. She loved children and was a big promoter of the Tim Horton’s Kids Camp Day; this was the club’s charity of choice in the early years, 2005-2006. It was very important for this small group of women to give back to the community; they worked hard to raise money for the Camp Day by hosting a charity ride.

In May 2006, many of the Divas and some of their spouses traveled to Myrtle Sylvia Spice 1Beach for Bike Week. It was during this trip on May 17, 2006 that Sylvia Spice, or “Spicy Diva” as we affectionately called her, passed away peacefully in her sleep in her 59th year.

As a club we felt, for our own recovery, we needed to host a charity event in her honor, so in 2007 this is what we did. Since then we have continued the tradition of hosting this annual charity ride in her honour. The entire club pulls together with our local community to make this annual ride a huge success. Thank you to all participants.

  • In 2007 and 2008 the ride was called “the Ride for Respite”, and all proceeds went to Personal Attendant Care (PAC) for respite care, since that is where Sylvia worked. Our simple beginnings in 2007 saw us raise $2,000 followed by $3,298 in 2008.
  • In 2009 we decided our focus should be on charities that predominantly support women and children since Sylvia’s early charity of choice was for children, and because we always want to remember that Sylvia loved to ride and was a huge encourager of women. Therefore in 2009 we changed the name of the ride to “Sylvia’s Ride”. This would allow us to continue to honor Sylvia as well as to give money to different charities each year, not just respite care. In 2009 we raised $3,000 for Luke’s Place which is a Resource and Information Centre for abused women and their children.
  • In 2010 all proceeds from Sylvia’s Ride were donated to the Denise House, which is a shelter for abused women and their children. We raised $5,420 in 2010 with 99 registered riders.
  • In 2011 all proceeds from Sylvia’s Ride were donated again to the Denise House. We raised $6,413 with 85 registered riders and passengers.
  • In 2012 Bethesda House was the recipient charity of $5,362 raised by a record 100 participants. Bethesda House provides secure Shelter to women, youth and children supporting them to live free from domestic abuse.
  • In 2013 Grandview Children’s Foundation was the recipient charity of $2,750 raised by 82 participants. Grandview Children’s Foundation Vision Statement: “To give children and youth with special needs the opportunity to dream, learn, succeed and belong.
  • In 2014 Grandview Kids (renamed) was the recipient charity again of $3,800 raised by 87 participants. Grandview Kids Mission Statement: To raise funds for Grandview Children’s Centre and Campbell Children’s School that enable children and youth with special needs to develop their abilities.
  • In 2015 Grandview Kids the ride raised $3,370. Thank you for your continued support and a special thank you to Moose Lodge for hosting this event and providing the BBQ.
  • In 2016 Grandview Kids the ride raised $5,600. 100 participants support the ride.
  • In 2017 Grandview Kids was the recipient charity again and 76 participants raised $4,250.