Marc, Michel and Vespa for Life vzw
Marc & Michel ride for the MUG heli
When Marc Dedulle told his friend and colleague Michel Boschloos about the many kilometers he traveled on his Vespa GTS, the latter could not have suspected that he would, a few months and the purchase of his own Vespa later, be preparing a ride of no less than 8,000. km. Both men work for the Federal Home Affairs Office and thus work with the AZ St. Jan hospital in Bruges on a regular basis. They also love life on two wheels. Michel previously explored Southern Europe by bicycle and Marc is a Vespa veteran who has already crossed a large part of Europe. In 2014 he received the silver medal in the National Touristic Championship of Vespa Club Belgium, the official Vespa Federation, twelve months later he was allowed to take home the cup to his native Gistel and call himself the Belgian champion for a year.
During one of the many contacts with the AZ St. Jan, the medical intervention (or MUG, Medical Urgency Group) helicopter of the Institute for Medical Urgent Care (IMDH) was discussed. This helicopter, which saves dozens of lives every year in Belgium and abroad, is largely dependent on sponsorship to finance its operation. Every year the IMDH has to look for no less than € 600,000 to keep the flying emergency service up and running. In addition to the allocation of the province of West Flanders and a few cities and municipalities, it is mainly companies and donors who rake the necessary funds. For the Vespa riders the idea grew to set up a beneficiary action... But how do you deal with something like that?
Count on the solidarity of the European Vespa world
As members of Vespa Club Oostende, Michel and Marc take part in events, ride-outs and meetings in Belgium and far beyond. They are both registered to participate in the Vespa World Days, the largest Vespa meeting in Europe, which in 2019 is organized in the Hungarian town of Zánka. Marc travels by Vespa to the event, as usual. He did that before, at the Vespa World Days in Croatia, southern France, Italy or Northern Ireland he participated without riding a single kilometer on four wheels or flying. This year his friend Michel would become his riding companion. On the way they would meet many Vespa lovers, fellow members of the Vespa World Club, and at the Vespa World Days they would even meet many thousands of Vespa enthousiasts. If even one per cent of these Vespisti - that is how the Vesparijders refer to themselves - would spend a few euros for the MUG helicopter, that could mean a considerable sum for the benefit of the Bruges medical emergency team. And if they made a detour, both on the way there and on their way back, they could also participate in the Giro Mostra 500km, the Vespa Trophy and the anniversary edition of the Vespa Alp Days and in this way make more people enthousiastic for their good cause in the far-away Bruges.
Establishing the vzw Vespa for Life
When it became clear that this "charity ride" was starting to burst at the seams, Marc and Michel realized that such an international action only generates much needed trust when it is framed in a legal structure. After obtaining the necessary information, a Belgian non-profit association (vzw) seemed the ideal legal form. The vzw also proved to be a necessary step in terms of liability and the management of the collected funds. "Vespa for Life" seemed to be an appropriate name, also known abroad, for an association that raises money to save lives. And that is how you end up on this site so many months after the initial idea. A site that gives you some more information about the project, and where you can follow Marc and Michel, but especially a site where you can also contribute to ensuring that in remote areas, or when every second counts, people stay alive thanks to the helicopter and the team from Bruges.