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Motorcycle run to benefit Hospice hits the roads on July 27

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POTSDAM - A benefit motorcycle run that hits the road the last Saturday in July has raised more than $55,000 for Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley.

Roger “Porky” Willmart, who organizes the ride with his wife, Linda, said they had 240 riders and raised $5,700 last year, pushing their 13-year total to $55,229. They had raised $2,334.80 their initial year.

This year they’ll be heading out on their 110-mile ride on July 27. Registration runs from 9 to 11 a.m., and the ride begins at 11 a.m. The benefit ride will be held rain or shine.

“It’s always the last Saturday in July,” Mr. Willmart said.

This year’s ride starts at the Coach Tavern, Norfolk, and heads to the Pit Stop Pub in Winthrop, the Amvets in Parishville, JC River Bar and Grill in Waddington and back to the Coach Tavern for a roast beef dinner and 50-50 and poker hand drawing.

“Half of last year’s poker hand was $350,” he said.

Mr. Willmart started the run 14 years ago and didn’t expect that it would be continuing this long.

“It was a one-year deal. But it does get easier. We have to travel to pick up the stuff, but it’s not that hard. Everything is about the same. The people are great,” he said.

“I get out my paperwork in May. The big thing is to sit down and figure out the route. I want 30 miles between stops. When we pull into a stop I say 45 minutes and we’re gone. And I try to make right turns. It’s easy to make a right turn,” Mr. Willmart said.

He said he never has a problem getting donations to use as door prizes at the after-the-ride beef dinner

“The people that donate are just marvelous. I just put a date and people give me stuff. They’re waiting for the call. They donate very well. I’ve had nobody turn me down this year,” he said.

Among this year’s donations, he said, are a $300 leather jacket, a $700 gift certificate and a two-night stay for two people at an area motel.

The cost for registration and the post-ride roast beef dinner is $15 for bike and rider with an additional $5 charge for a passenger.

“The cost is the same as it was in year one,” Mr. Willmart said.

The benefit motorcycle run is Mr. Willmart’s way of paying back Hospice for the care they provided to his mother and father, as they have for so many other people too, he said.

For more information, contact Roger or Linda at 265-5725.

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