Paul Wilhelm has lost friends in the last two years to prostate cancer. In his 60 years, he has stood by friends going through chemo, recovery, and mental health issues. For him, an event like the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) is personal.

Paul Wilhelm, ride host for the Everett Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride pictured with his motorcycle and media and co-host Nataya Foss. Courtesy of Paul Wilhelm.

That is why after he participated in the DGR in Seattle last year, which is an event that spreads awareness on men’s health, he wanted to bring the event closer to home to share the commodore and sense of togetherness he experienced.

“I really wanted to inspire. I’ve seen nothing but good come out of this thing [DGR].”

DGR “unites classic and vintage styled motorcycle riders from all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health,” according to its main website.

On May 19, classic and vintage motorcycles will be riding through not just the city of Everett, but united across the world. Wilhelm is the primary ride host for Everett, hosting with three others. Thanks to Wilhelm, this is the first time DGR will be taking place in Everett.

Paul Wilhelm, DGR Everett host with his 2004 Carbureted Triumph T100. Photo courtesy of Wilhelm.

Last year the worldwide program had the highest-ever fundraising for a single event. The DGR foundation raised over 7 million in funds, hosted in 107 countries, 893 cities, and had a total of 106,000 riders.

All the funds go directly to Movember charities according to Wilhelm, and DGR as a whole is very transparent on where the funds are going.

Movember is also the official charity partner of The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Both organizations aim to bring people together and change the face of men’s health.

Nationwide, there is a significantly increased rate of depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidality among Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers than the general public, according to an article in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Wilhelm works for the City of Everett and is close with first responders as well as the police and fire department. He found that many need an outlet for the things that they experience on a day-to-day basis. He said these are things that have touched him recently.

“When I start to look into the statistics of mental health issues like suicide and PTSD, the stats are pretty bad. They don’t really get the help that they need and guys don’t talk about it. ‘Were tough’ they say. ‘We don’t talk about that stuff’. This [DGR] gets guys talking and it brings awareness to these topics,” Wilhelm said.

If you need behavioral help resources, here are some provided by the City of Everett: 

It is not too late to participate in the Everett DGR or to donate to the cause, see here:

The event in Everett is sponsored by The Milk House Coffee Co., Vintage Washington Motorcyclists, EcoWash 4u, and Tony’s Garage.

“The generosity of people has just been wonderful, amazingly wonderful,” Wilhelm said about the sponsors.

Look for tweed, bowties, and motorcycles this Sunday, as many ride through Everett for a good cause.