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Ride for MDA raises $30,600

August 26, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Jeans and T-shirts, and of course, helmets, were the wardrobe of choice among the 485 motorcycle riders gathered at M&S Harley-Davidson in Chambersburg Sunday morning.

The bikers were preparing for a roughly 80-mile ride across northern Franklin County and South-Central Pennsylvania Sunday during the 14th annual fund-raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Last year the Chambersburg Chapter of the Harley Owners Group set records for the number of participants and amount of money raised, making it one of Harley-Davidson's top 20 fund-raising events, said Sue Mott, MDA coordinator for the chapter.

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Mott said late Sunday that the event raised an estimated $30,600.

"We are extremely pleased," Mott said.

As riders readied for their journey, the atmosphere outside the new M&S Harley-Davidson on Falling Spring Road seemed more like a family reunion than a fund-raiser.

"It's really a neat feeling to be part of something that's a good cause," said Sharon Moats, of Chambersburg, who has participated in the fund-raiser for at least eight years. "Bikers have the biggest hearts. They really are giving and supportive of this event," she said.

For Curtis Nunn, of Scotland, Pa., coming to his fifth fund-raiser Sunday was a chance to catch up with friends and check out other motorcycles.

"It's like a family get-together I look forward to once a year," he said.

Nunn, a retired Baltimore Police officer, started riding nearly 50 years ago as part of the police department's motorcycle unit.

"That's where it all really started. It was the best assignment," said Nunn, who has continued riding recreationally in retirement.

He reminisced about being part of the motorcades that escorted television stars and presidents, including Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson.

"Then I got promoted and got put behind a desk," he said.

Vicki Goodman, district director of the South Central, Pa., chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, said all funds raised through the $15 entry fee, pledges and proceeds from raffles on Sunday stay in Franklin County.

The funds support camps for children with muscular dystrophy and help adults with doctor visits and medical equipment like wheelchairs, she said.

Goodman said the Chambersburg HOG is especially dedicated.

"They are extremely committed. Every year they do things to make the event better and help more families," she said.

This year the members of the Scott family are the inspiration for the riders, and they will meet up at the end of the ride in Walnut Bottom, Pa.

Bill Scott, the family patriarch, was diagnosed with a genetic form of muscular dystrophy in the 1960s, and his adult children, David, Teddy, Brenda and Elaine, have it also, Mott said.

"Elaine was a real inspiration to me, and I raised $1,800 this year," said Mott, who met Elaine through work at Computer Sciences Corp. "One year she saw me selling bike tickets and thanked me for supporting muscular dystrophy. That's how our friendship started."

As a whole, Harley-Davidson riders have raised nearly $40 million to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the last 22 years.

MDA is a national health agency that is combating about 40 neuromuscular diseases through research and patient services programs.

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