FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS)–About one in eight men is diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. One fundraiser hopes to raise awareness for cancer and mental health problems.

The first-ever Fayetteville Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride took place Sunday morning. They partnered with the Love Hope Center for the Arts and Freefolk Brewery in Fayette County.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a worldwide event, but this was the first and only one in West Virginia.
Riders had one rule-no motorcycle clothing. Both men and women dressed up to the nines in fancy clothes and accessories.

Stacey Tope, a participant, and co-organizer said it’s important to start prioritizing health for men.

“There’s a stigma around men going to the doctor and so we’re just trying to raise some awareness and initiate men just taking care of their health, their mental health, and riding for that cause,” Tope said.

Her husband, Chris Tope who organized the ride in Fayetteville, said motorcycles are an attention grabber and conversation starter. But they hope starting that conversation will lead to more men opening up about their health.

“Whenever you see a motorcycle, you kind of pay attention, you see it driving past and all that stuff. And that’s why they started with the motorcycles and dapper is because it’s started with a real jazzy, Sydney, Australia, London, they wanted it to look classy,” Tope said.

So far, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride has raised more than $30,000,000 internationally for Research, Men’s Health Awareness, and Suicide Prevention.

The ride started at the Love Hope Center for the Arts building, continued over the New River Gorge Bridge, and ended at the Freefolk Brewery for live music and end of the ride party.