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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, August 10, 2006
Hogs for hospice run
By Tim Matteson
Harleys and hospice seem like an unlikely match, but they have more in common than most people think.
Bikers in the Harley Owners Group will be riding their Harley Davidson motorcycles on Aug. 27 in support of the Community Hospice of Albany.
Sue Emanuele, a bereavement facilitator at the hospice, made the connection.
"Because I ride and I know they are looking for events," said Emanuele. "I knew they do a lot of benefits. I said, ‘Why not have one for hospice"’ I talked to the group, and did a little pitch, like a lot of other groups, and we were chosen."
Emanuele, though, does not own a Harley; she rides a Honda.
"But they treated me like one of their own," she said. "They are an unique group of people."
The ride is open to anyone, not just members of the HOGs. Anyone with any kind of motorcycle or even someone driving a car can take part.
"Sue made a presentation at one of our meetings," said Rich Bruening, a member of the Albany-Schenectady HOG chapter. "We were actively looking for a charity event. She made the proposal and many of us have used hospice. It was an organization that mattered most to our members."
The groups got together for the first time last year and there was a ride then.
"It went fairly well," Breuning said. "The weather wasn’t nice, but the we had a turnout of 150 people. We are expecting 500 to 600 this year."
Breuning said the Albany-Schenectady HOG chapter has 250 members.
"It’s an open event," he said. "It’s open to all kinds of riders and even to cars."
The event begins at Spitzies Motorcycle center on Central Avenue in Albany.
Spitziess is the sponsor of the Albany-Schenectady HOG Chapter. Most chapters are sponsored by a local Harley Davidson dealer.
"We’ll do a ‘poker run’," Breuning said. "We won’t play poker but we’ll do games. Riders get a certain number of points and who has the most points at the end, wins. They’ll win like a plaque, nothing of any monetary value."
The first stop of games will be at Dino Petrocellis Studio in Colonie. Petrocelli takes photos for Orange County Choppers, a company that manufactures motorcycles. He will be taking photos of riders and their bikes which will be printed into an 8x10 photo at the stop.
The ride then will take riders through Guilderland, Voorheesville and into the Hilltowns. The second stop will be at the Westerlo Post Office.
The riders will continue through the hills and make their third stop at the Knox Country Store for more games. Then, the riders will descend down the Hill and into Altamont on Bozenkill Road and onto Dunnsville Road. The riders then will move on to the final stop at the South Schenectady Fire Department.
The entry fee for the ride is $15 and it is a self-guided ride to the South Schenectady Fire Department Station. There will be a barbecue provided by Chicos and there will also be soft drinks and door prizes.
For more information, interested riders can contact Emanuele at the Community Hospice of Albany at 724-0200 or Tom Harper, the president of the Albany-Schenectady HOG Chapter at 294-9994, ext. 104.
Registration for the event will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at Spitzies Motorcycle Center.
The HOG group, which is a nation-wide organization, have a variety of members.
"It’s open to any age," Breuning said. "We have people in their 20’s and range up to 70’s and every thing in between. I would say that the average is in the 40’s but we have people approaching their 80’s."
The club is also trying to overcome the biker stereotype. They stake a claim as being a non-alcohol group.
"When we are riding," Breuning said. "There is no drinking. But if we have an overnight trip to Vermont or something and when we’re done riding for the night, we’ll have some drinks. But while we’re riding, there’s no drinking of any kind."
Breuning said that the event is something that they have been looking forward to all year.
"It’s for a very worthy cause," he said. "Hospice is a great organization. Many of our members have used hospice and we just had my mother go through. It’s a great organization and it’s one that we want to support."
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