Rolling Thunder: Fall Run 2005

By Susan BushPrint Story | Email Story
Fall Run co-founder and Custom City Cycle shop owner Mike Robert
Adams- Leather, chrome, and the deep rumble of motorcycle engines filled Bowe Field on Sept. 25 when hundreds of “iron horses” powered up and thundered into the Fall Run 2005. This year marks the 24th consecutive time that riders from all across the Northeast have ridden –no matter what the weather- to raise money for specific organizations. Since 1989, the run has generated revenues for the Springfield-based Shriners Hospital, including the Shriners Burn Unit. As this year’s run morning dawned, the multi-year total raised for the hospital was at about $196,000; by the end of the run, it was expected that the grand total would be well over $200,000, said run founders and organizers Michael Robert and Chris “Sam” Samson, of the Adams-based Custom City Cycle shop. Past run beneficiaries include the United Way, the Massachusetts Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and organizations dedicated to multiple sclerosis efforts. Shriners hospitals care for children at no cost to families, and the work accomplished at the hospitals is appreciated internationally. “We have supported other groups,” said Samson. “Then we hooked up with the Shriners and we’ve been with them ever since.” Ron Whitney is a Shriner member and said that the fall runs have become a major revenue source for the hospitals. “It helps keep the hospital going,” Whitney said. “This is a major event for the Shriners.” Robert said that the run grows larger just about every year. This year, riders from regions such as Burlington, Vt. and Hoboken, N.J. made hours-long trips to join the 60-mile ride, which ended at Mohawk Park in Charlemont, Mass.. “We’ve raised quite a bit of money for the Shriners,” Robert said. “Staff meetings [run volunteer coordinators] begin in August. Most of the credit for this goes to the senior staff, people who’ve been doing this since the beginning. People are running their own departments and I don’t have to tell anybody what to do. They know, and it gets done.” The Shriners Hospital provides medical care for a host of conditions, including neuromuscular disorders including cerebral palsy, metabolic bone disease, and scoliosis and other spine conditions. Outreach clinics that travel across the Northeast and to regions including the Caribbean and Cyprus provide evaluations and care to children who cannot easily make a trip to the Springfield hospital. Since it opened in 1925, the Shriners Hospital has delivered medical care to over 42,000 children from around the world –for free. A multi-photograph “Fall Run 2005” slideshow will be posted at www.iberkshires.com during the upcoming week. Additional information about the Shriners Hospital is available at the www.shrinershq.org Internet web site. Additional information about Custom City Cycle and next year’s 25th Fall Run anniversary is available at the www.customcitycycle.com Internet web site or by calling the shop at 413-743-4631. Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.
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