Published: Monday, August 20, 2007
Braving the rain in a fund-raising run for kids
By SEAN BARRON
AUSTINTOWN Brandy Hollobaugh gave birth to a child a few months ago, but a desire to do something for others' youngsters motivated her to step it into high gear.
"The weather made it uncomfortable, but it was nice to be with fellow riders," the Sharpsville, Pa., woman said, referring to her participation in Sunday's 17th annual Fred Perry Run for Kids event.
Hollobaugh and her husband, Justin, were two of an estimated 150 motorcycle riders to brave the day's rainy and cool weather to take part in the run, which was set up to benefit four area youngsters. In previous years, the event has usually attracted between 1,500 and 1,800 riders, but Sunday's lower turnout was because of inclement weather, a few organizers said.
Also among the riders was Glen James of West Middlesex, Pa., who said he took part because he appreciates that funds raised go to children with special needs and children's charities. This was James' sixth year in the event, he added.
The day's events
The motorcycle and poker run began and ended at Mike's Lounge, 5532 Mahoning Ave., and took riders to stops in Newton Falls, Warren and Mecca. The three-hour round-trip ride was about 85 miles, one organizer noted.
A key part of the event was the poker run, in which riders collected five playing cards at three stops. Those with the three best hands received trophies, said Nancy Martucci, daughter of the late Fred Perry, who died of cancer in 1991.
The event also had food, a 50-50 raffle, a raffle for $1,000 and a disc jockey. Vendors sold T-shirts and other merchandise.
All money raised is donated to children's charities, which have included the Ursuline Motherhouse Kids with AIDS program, Kiwanis and Lions clubs, the Austintown Police Department, the Special Olympics and the Youngstown Hearing & Speech Center, Martucci said. Her late father wanted funds from the event carried on in his name to go to the less fortunate, she said, adding that last year's run brought in roughly $20,000.
For about 50 years, Perry was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle mechanic, his daughter recalled. Gary DeZee and Mike Mulhull, owner of Mike's Lounge, started the event as an appreciation day to Perry, who had seven children.
"He was a friend and mentor to many," Martucci said of her father. "Kids and motorcycles were his passions."