Bikers don pink during Jen Kelly Memorial Ride to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness

July 29, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Bikers ride along Lappans Road at Devils Backbone Park on Sunday during the Jen Kelly Memorial Ride.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Most people don’t associate bikers with a feminine color like pink.

But that was the norm Sunday at The Improved Order of Red Men Tribe 84 in Williamsport.

Nearly 100 bikers gathered there to participate in the fourth annual Jen Kelly Memorial Ride to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley, an organization that helps women who are fighting the deadly disease.

Event organizer Penny Fraker said Kelly struggled with the illness for three years before it took her life on April 2, 2008. Kelly left behind a husband and two young children.

“She had a smile that could light up a room,” Fraker said. “She always found the good in everyone. She loved you unconditionally. I’m a much better person for having her in my life.”

Motorcycles slowly roared into the parking lot Sunday morning near the Red Men’s pavilion off Lappans Road. Some of the riders socialized and checked out their friends’ bikes, while others registered for raffles and bought T-shirts to support the event.

Fraker said riders paid $15 each or $25 for a pair to participate. Twenty-six local businesses donated items to help raise money for the cause.

The riders left around noon on the two-hour journey, which took them to Rouzerville, Pa., and back. After the ride, they ate hamburgers and hot dogs.

Clear Spring resident Katie Hoover attended the event with her husband, Jason.

She said she didn’t know Kelly, but enjoys taking part in benefit rides to help others.

“It’s great to get out in the open air and do something nice for a great cause,” she said. “We probably do about 10 (rides) a year.”

Travis Shatzley, president of the Red Men Riders, a branch of the Williamsport lodge geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts, said a single charitable ride can generate up to $3,000.

“Our club tries to raise money for anything that benefits breast cancer — anything for veterans. We love veterans,” he said.

“There’s just something about helping people in need. That’s one of the reasons I joined this club. They do so much to help the public,” Shatzley said.

Shatzley said the club hosts about 10 rides a year.

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