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Bikers Ride for Big Brothers Big Sisters

 

Under dry skies and in comfortable temperatures, the roar of 96 motorcycles filled the air in Wysox on Sunday, June 5, for the start of the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Motorcycle Rally.

A total of 132 riders came out to support the 16th annual dice run, which raises funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bradford County. This year’s ride raised $1,500 for the organization, according to BBBS executive director Kristy Griffith.

The ride began at Sherwood Groves PowerSports on Wysox’s Golden Mile and wound its way on an approximately 80-mile ride through the Northern Tier with stops at the Troy McDonald’s, the Millerton Dandy Mini Mart, Cross Roads Equipment in Columbia Cross Roads and the East Smithfield Park. The ride concluded at Riverfront Park in Wysox.

Among the riders were several of the original founders of the event—Ron Hunt, Merle and Cheryl Bair and Mike Powers.

After last year’s event, which was held with a tornado watch in the area, Hunt was very pleased with the turnout under much better conditions.

“We usually get real good support unless the weather kills us,” Hunt said.

“There are bikes pulling in more and more,” he observed moments before the final departure time.

Hunt and Merle Bair both agreed that while the riders get to enjoy a good time, it is the Littles who benefit the most from the event.

“We do it for the kids,” Bair said.

“It’s a good outfit,” Hunt added “They do good work.”

Cheryl Bair pointed out the event wouldn’t be successful without support from the community.

“We’d like to thank all the sponsors who have supported us all these years and the businesses who have given us donations,” she said. “That’s a big help.”

Powers, representing Wiggle/The Bridge, which sponsors the grand prize, was pleased to see fair skies.

“When I got up and looked at the sky, I thought, ‘Oh, oh,’” he said.

 “But this is actually better than 90 degrees and sunshine. This is better riding weather.”

The grand prize this year was a four-day, three-night trip to Boston, including admission for two to the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, Sky Walk Observatory and the JFK Presidential Library Museum. Hotel accommodations were at Hotel 140.

“This year, they’re going to Boston,” Powers explained. “It’s a good time with sightseeing and a little trip around the historical area.”

John Pierce of Alpine, NY, won the grand prize with a high dice total of 50.

Traditionally, the ride has ended at the Veterans Appreciation Day picnic at Hornbrook Park. However, because of extremely wet grounds, that event was cancelled, forcing ride organizers to make late arrangements to use Riverfront Park.

The Wild Pigs motorcycle club prepared and ran the post-ride meal.

“Generous donations from various groups, businesses and individuals assisted with covering the cost of the meals,” Griffith said. She noted that Beirne Webster VFW on Bridge Street Hill, Towanda, made a sizeable donation.

“The meal was a great success and it was a perfect day,” Griffth added.

She also thanked Sherwood Groves PowerSports and Wiggle/The Bridge for their continuing support of the event.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bradford County, which serves Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga Counties in Pennsylvania as well as Tioga County, NY, currently supports school-based and community-based matches in the four-county area.

Upcoming fundraisers for the local organization include a co-ed softball tournament this weekend (June 11-12) at Monroeton’s Mountaineer Park and the annual golf tournament at Towanda Country Club on July 13.

Nationally, BBBS is the largest and most effective child-mentoring program.

Its one-to-one mentoring relationships have been shown to reduce school dropouts, increase positive relationships with peers and parents, diminish the likelihood of alcohol and illegal drug use and decrease the likeliness of engaging in bullying.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bradford County, call (570) 265-3009 or toll free at 1-866-344-BIGS (2447). The website is www.bbbsbradco.com.

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