Hudson motorcycle ride and barbecue to benefit kids with cancer
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – What began as a thought to present some sort of fundraiser has grown to become the fifth annual Riding for Sherry's House. This year's motorcycle ride will be held Sunday, July 13, beginning and ending at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #643, 271 Cox St., where others can join motorcyclists afterward for a barbecue to support a good cause.
John Musorofi, a Hudson Eagles member, was offered to use the facility for a fundraiser by Joe Chaves, past president and now state officer. John and his wife, Lenore, organized the ride in honor of their step-grandson Nicky Cremins, who passed away at age 8 after a year-long battle with bone cancer in 2001. They were joined by their daughter-in-law Heather, son Chris, and their daughter Jackie.
Nicky is remembered as an active second-grader at Forest Avenue Elementary School, where he was a Cub Scout in Den 4, Pack 4. He played T-ball, held an orange belt in karate and was an avid fisherman. Nicky also loved attending Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut for seriously ill children.
The family received financial and emotional assistance from Why Me, a Worcester-based nonprofit organization created to help families in central New England cope with childhood cancer. The organization comforts the children with toys, day trips and holiday parties.
“His favorite was the Halloween party,” Heather recalled.
At the time, Why Me offered support groups at a Worcester hotel. Now, its headquarters is known as Sherry's House, which is also a temporary home-away-from-home for children with cancer and their families.
“After Nicky passed, we went to the support meetings,” Heather said. “Anybody in the family was welcomed. It made a big difference for all of us.”
The fundraiser is a way for them to give back to Why Me and Sherry's House.
“They help so many families,” Lenore said. “It's awful when your child is going through cancer. It affects the whole family. Heather had to give up her job. Chris was working all day and going to visit at night.”
In the past four years, the ride has annually averaged about 150 motorcycles with drivers and some passengers. During that time, it has raised a total of over $30,000 for the charity.
The ride travels a 63-mile route to Mt. Wachusett and back. John's experience as a motorcyclist has helped the event run smoothly.
“The route is all state highways that are well-maintained,” he explained. “We don's go through any big towns or areas where there's congestion. It's on a Sunday morning when there's less traffic on the road.”
John expressed gratitude for traffic control from the Hudson police and fire departments. Also helpful are some police departments along the route including Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Princeton, West Boylston and Winchendon.
Many of the same volunteers have consistently handled the setup, cooking and cleanup. In addition to Chaves and members of the Hudson Eagles, volunteers include Commander Bill Rivers with others from Hudson AMVETS Post 208, and the Marlborough Eagle Riders #3565.
During the barbecue, Lenore speaks to guests about Why Me and Sherry's House. Each year, a family who has been affected by childhood cancer shares their experience.
“Lots of people end up crying when this happens,” John noted.
Lenore added, “You'sl see men lower their sunglasses to hide their tears.”
Donation for a rider or barbecue guest is $20. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The ride begins at 11 a.m. Walk-ins for the barbecue are welcomed at 1:30 p.m. For more information about the fundraiser, call John at 508-561-7204.
For more information about Why Me, visit whyme.org.
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