Northeast Passages: December, 2017

By Loretta Jackson

Holiday cheer is running wild this time of year with so many clubs and riding organizations hosting toy runs and other events that guarantee a merry Christmas for thousands of kids. A good example comes from those patronizing Manchester Harley-Davidson in Manchester, New Hampshire. Riders from the area combined a “Toys for Tots” event with a Halloween costume ride held on Saturday, October 21. I had a chat with Keyana Belanger, MotorClothes sales professional, who told me, “It was a great day for a ride and a lot of toys were collected.” A scary Jack Skellington lookalike from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie and a not-so-scary Fred Flintstone vied for gift cards and prizes… Elsewhere, it was proved that big hearts and big bikes run alike. The 10th annual Tim Beaucage Memorial Run was hosted on Sunday, October 8, by East Coast Riders, a long-toothed group that morphed from a riding club into a certified nonprofit charity with around 60 members populating one chapter based in Valatie, New York. I talked to Betty Holt, club secretary and rider of a 1999 Heritage Classic. She said the ECR is “proud to have donated to date some $100,000” to a local community hospice house, and other funds to many more beneficiaries. She said Tim Beaucage, the run’s namesake and an original club member, passed suddenly after a surgery a decade ago. Betty said he was a was a big part of the club and “a loving and giving person.” This year’s memorial run helped the club provide gifts for kids in need as recommended by local school guidance counselors. “We get their clothing sizes and wish lists,” Betty said. “The gift-wrapped presents are delivered to the family’s home by Santa Claus to ensure the children’s privacy.” She added that the local Boy Scouts and many area businesses are longtime donors. Recently, a cache of full-size bikes went to a group of very surprised and happy kids. Betty gave a special shout out to Ronnie’s Harley-Davidson in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, saying, “When we buy a bike for a raffle, we get it from them at a great price.”… Meanwhile, in Bridgewater, New Jersey, the third annual Dignity Run went off in fine style with around 300 riders on Sunday, October 15. The event was a partnership with the Bridgewater Eagles Riding Club, along with the Double Crossed Riding Club and the Central Jersey Old Timers, all of whom were welcomed by the host organization Alternatives Inc. Alternatives is a nonprofit human services group in Central New Jersey whose president, Nancy Good, is proud to focus on promoting independence for people with special needs. Nancy described the event as an “awesome sight.” She added, “Each one of them is doing the run out of the goodness of their hearts to support Alternatives’ clients.” The run’s beginning and ending point was the Eagles Aerie #2137 on Woodside Lane in Bridgewater. Food, vendors and music, along with prizes backed by support from RE/MAX Classic Group Somerville, Union Avenue Pharmacy, Clinton Honda, Meeker Sharkey & Hurley Insurance, George Sincox Architects, Rider Insurance and Applebee’s of Hillsborough enriched Alternatives Inc. to the tune of some $8,000. Those Eagles know how to fly! That’s it for now, friends. See you down the road.

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