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Bikers hit the road to raise funds for kids with brain tumors

October 01, 2007|By ALICIA NOTORIANNI

HAGERSTOWN - Fredi Wishard remembers attending a Ride for Kids event in Pittsburgh to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. A young man who had survived brain surgery addressed the crowd at the Celebration of Life program. He thanked the motorcyclists for their support and shared the poignant story of his life after diagnosis and treatment for a brain tumor.

Wishard attended the ride again the following year and asked for an update on the young man. She learned that he had died.

"After you've been to one of those rides, it's just " Wishard shook her head, searching for the right word to express her sorrow.

Such real-life accounts move Wishard, 63, and her husband, Terry, 65, of Williamsport, along with the other members of the Pennsylvania Chapter C Goldwing Road Riders Association, to organize local and regional efforts to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

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Area riders met Sunday between 9 a.m. and noon to register for the group's annual Poker Run fundraiser at Twigg Cycles in Hagerstown. Tickets cost $10 per person. At registration, riders drew a poker hand. The holders of the top three hands won cash prizes. The group also raffled items and gave away door prizes.

The highlight of the event was a 65-mile scenic ride beginning at Twigg Cycles and heading toward Boonsboro to Williamsport, then to the Blairs Valley area and Mercersburg, Pa., before returning to Hagers-town via Greencastle, Pa.

Larry Dice, 48, and his wife Linda, 54, of St. Thomas, Pa., are Chapter C directors. Larry Dice said the chapter, also know as the Mason Dixon Wings, hoped to draw around 100 riders to the event and raise "as much money as we can." Last year, Dice said, the ride brought in about $900.

Linda Dice said some people stop at the event just to donate money.

"People are very willing to donate money to help children. They just want to give to the (Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation). What better way to spend money?" she said.

Twigg Cycles provided facilities as well as refreshments and lunch for the Poker Run. The business usually is closed on Sundays, but General Manager Jeff Davis said it opens each year for the event.

"It's just kind of a good way to give back to the motorcycling community for supporting us. It's a symbiotic relationship. We throw the doors open and have a party for them," Davis said.

Bill and Lucille Knoll, both 61, of Chambersburg, Pa., are former directors of Chapter C. The Knolls said the ride is an enjoyable way to raise money.

"It's a chance for everybody that has a love for riding motorcycles to get together with old friends and make new friends," Lucille Knoll said.

Karlene Beaver, 57, said she and her husband, Jim Beaver, 60, woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready and drive their Honda Goldwing 1800 Series Trike to the event from Lewisberry, Pa.

"It's for the kids. We go to several rides a year for the kids. It's great to share our stories, our bikes. We love helping," she said.

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