Woman's memory endures through motorcycle event

July 31, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION |

The first year a motorcycle ride was held in honor of breast cancer patient Jen Kelly, she was able to participate.

Although she was weak from her battle with the disease, she rode with motorcyclist Dave Carroll and wore a specially designed helmet that read “Hope, Faith, Strength.”

Kelly died in 2008, but she is not forgotten.

As part of a tradition, Carroll strapped Kelly’s helmet to the front of his handlebars Sunday during the annual Jen Kelly Memorial Ride.

“She rides with us every year,” said Carroll, of Greencastle, Pa.

About 56 people participated in Sunday’s ride, which went to Blondie’s bar and restaurant in Rouzerville, Pa., and back to The Improved Order of Red Men Tribe 84 club on Lappans Road in Williamsport.

Riders followed a route that extended through Boonsboro and past Ringgold, and returned through Waynesboro, Pa., Greencastle and Clear Spring.

Riders paid an entry fee and for the first time this year, proceeds from the event went to Breast Cancer Awareness — Cumberland Valley Inc. Single riders paid $15 and couples paid $25.

The money will be used to provide breast cancer testing, said Janet Lung, community liaison for Breast Cancer Awareness — Cumberland Valley Inc. Many women cannot afford the testing, and the local organization funds about 200 mammograms a year.

“It goes up every year with the economy. It’s a very important lifesaving tool,” Lung said.

At the Red Men club, riders ate a meal at an outside pavilion, listened to music and participated in raffles.

Among the guests at the Williamsport club was Kelly’s husband, Michael.

Michael said the first ride was held to raise money for their children’s college fund. The couple’s children are  Johnathan, 10, and Eden, 9. Kelly said his wife would have liked the idea of Sunday’s proceeds going to the local breast cancer awareness group.

“She was a very giving person,” Michael Kelly said.

Although organizers were not sure how much was raised Sunday, Lung was surprised by its success.

Lung called organizers like Michelle Jemenez and Penny Fraker “go-getters.”

Fraker was a close friend of Jen Kelly, who met her while the two were working at Citi in Hagerstown.

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