After a year of rest due to the pandemic, motorcyclists are gearing up to get their engines running for the 2021 Kids and Cancer Benefit Run, which will take place in Bradford on July 24.
Registration for the event will take place from 9am on the day of the event, with the blessings of the bikes shortly before the ride at 12pm. Online registration is also available on the Kids and Cancer Benefit Run website. The entry fee is $25 for each driver and rider.
Kids and Cancer chairman Bill Black took over the event from former chairman Dave Geitner, who stepped down from the leadership role. Black has been with the organization since it was founded 24 years ago.
“We have a lot of people who are interested in this,” Black said, noting that the Children’s and Cancer fundraiser held at Pennhills Country Club last week was doing well. He also pointed out that while the benefit run could not be held last year, the event raised money through the traditional raffle of a Harley motorcycle on Labor Day weekend in 2020.
“We did very well last year, even with the pandemic,” he recalls. “It wasn’t a great year, but it was a good year.”
Black said he and others on the committee were thrilled to lead the in-person event this year. As in the past, the participants with their motorcycles will gather in the parking lot of Zippo Manufacturing Co. at Congress Street.
“We will have a few suppliers for breakfast to assist and some (Relay for Life) teams will be there,” he added. “We’ll have the blessings of the bikes and hopefully we’ll be on the road by noon.”
Testimonials from families who have been helped by Kids and Cancer benefits in the past will also be presented prior to the ride.
Black said the bikes will travel to Willow Bay, to Dairy Delight in Warren, to the Kane VFW and on to Mount Jewett and the Kinzua Bridge. From there, riders travel along Route 646 to Vavalos Bar and Restaurant in Gifford and on to Route 219 and Bradford. The participants will stop on East Main Street where a number of businesses will participate by selling food for the event. The businesses include Togi’s Family Restaurant and Substation, JJ’s Saloon, the New Keystone, Liberty Tavern, Fox’s Pizza Den and Tasta Pizza.
A band will play during the event, including the auction of a Case Cutlery knife and the raffle of the 2021 Harley Davidson Softtail Standard. Second place in the raffle is $1,000 and third place is a $250 gift card to Jamestown Harley. Lottery tickets are $20 for one; three for $50; and six for $100.
Black said a bike show will precede the ride and will be held Friday at 6 p.m. in the Ace Hardware parking lot on West Washington Street. There will be food vendors, raffles and the Bradford American Legion Post 108 will participate in the event.
Turning to children and cancer, Black said the event, which will celebrate 25 years next year, has raised about $600,000 provided to children battling life-threatening illnesses. Funds have also been provided to hospitals in the region, including Bradford Regional Medical Center, Olean General Hospital, Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, Shriners Hospital for Children, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Geitner, who is still on the committee, said he enjoyed his years of service but was ready to turn the event over to Black and those more adept at posting and managing the event online.
“I thought it might be best for the group at this point to step back and let the others grab hold of things,” Geitner said. “But it’s a good thing and it’s benefited a lot of people.”
For more information about the event, visit the Kids and Cancer Benefit Run website or contact Black at (814) 558-5287.