The eighth annual MDA Campout and Bike Run was held at Sheridan Bay Park. The weekend was in honor of Erik Robbins and Brian Robbins, who have been the Good Will Ambassadors for this event for the past eight years and suffer from this crippling and terminal disease.
The event was in memory of five individuals: Jane Jusko Eagan, grandmother of Eric and Brian Robbins, who passed away on March 30, 2005; John Mt. Pleasant who passed away unexpectedly on July 18, 2009 and who was an avid supporter of MDA and the event; Joan Burns who passed away on January 22, 2008, at the age of 36 from Muscular Dystrophy and was an advocate for the handicapped and spearheaded the effort to make all public buildings in Dunkirk handicapped accessible; Mike "Cash" Lancaster, founding President of Southwestern Chapter of ABATE, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2005; Richard Piatek who passed away on Dec. 28, 2003, at the age of 33 from this disease; and Joe Lascola Jr. who passed away on May 3, 2011 and who was an avid supporter of MDA and the event.
Sheridan Bay Park was filled with campers and bikers enjoying the beautiful weather to raise money for a very important cause. Friday evening, live music was provided by Lock Down who played blues and rock from 6 to 11 p.m.
Many attended the eighth annual MDA Campout and Bike Run.
Saturday morning the bike run registration was held and free commemorative t-shirts (donated by Jane Eagan's family) were distributed to the first 50 motorcycles/bus riders registered. There were 80 motorcycle drivers, 39 motorcycle passengers and 12 bus riders. Starting at noon, the bikes and bus were led out of Sheridan Bay Park by Edziu Wallace and his 5 year old son, Nicholas. The New York State Police, City of Dunkirk Police and Village of Fredonia Police provided an escort through the local communities via Route 5 and Route 20. The first stop was 21 Brix Winery in Portland, where wine tasting was enjoyed by all. The New York State Police escorted the bikes and bus to the NYS/PA State line where motorcyclists proceeded to the Moniuszko Club in Erie, Pa., where food and refreshments were provided. The motorcyclists and bus returned to the Moniuszko Club in Dunkirk. After a stop at the Monnie's Club, the motorcyclists returned to Sheridan Bay Park.
The participants returned to Sheridan Bay Park at 5 p.m. to enjoy dinner which included a half chicken prepared by Evans Volunteer Fire Company, Italian sausage donated by ABATE of Chautauqua County and prepared by Googie Willis at the Monnies Club and by Jim Stelmack at the Kosciuszko Club, roasted potatoes prepared by Vivian Kania at the Dunkirk Moose Club, tossed salad donated by Pat Tripp and Brenda Pazderski, pork n' beans donated by Mary Ann Sell, and corn on the cob donated by Dick Feinen and McChesney's in Cassadaga. Dessert was chocolate chip cookies donated by Petri's Bakery and an MDA supporter donated mini cupcakes from Annie K's Cupcakes, beverages from Certo Brothers Distributing and Shur-Fine, Cassadaga. Organizers appreciate the donation of cookers from St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fredonia, Monnies Club and Kosciuszko Club.
Saturday evening live music was provided by Big Tone blues band. Throughout the evening the silent auction winners and big board raffle items were announced. The "Freezer Pig" Raffle was won by Brad Blizzard and was donated by Al and Diane Ellicott. The 50/50 drawing was won by Jack Meegan. A raffle was held for two quilts: One was a Harley T-shirt Logo Quilt created and donated by Cheryl Gawronski, Debbie Zappie, and Kathy Edwards and won by Donna Lascola and the other was a "Hogs on Bikes" Quillow made and donated by Susan Huerta (received overnight mail from Florida on Friday 8/31) and won by Cheryl Hall.
Edziu and Tina Wallace extend their thanks to all of the motorcyclists and campers who support this event each year - without them, this event would not be possible.
"We would also like to thank Sheridan Bay Park; New York State Police, City of Dunkirk Police; Village of Fredonia Police; Moniuszko Club of Dunkirk and Erie PA; ABATE of Chautauqua County; 21 Brix Winery; Jim 'Moose' Michaels for printing tickets; Debbie Mancuso for the Bus and Steve Davis for driving the bus; Jim and Mary Ann Sell, Toni and Googie Willis, Brenda Pazderski, Jan Deleon, Val Deleon, Nancy Scott, Cheryl Gawronski, Terri Selig, Al Seavy, Pam Pokoj and Andrea Kaus," Edziu and Tina Wallace said. "Special thanks are extended to Al and Diane Elliott and family of Fredonia, and Steve and Dawn Jusko and Susan Huerta of Florida. Thank you to everyone we may have missed for your continuous support and assistance and to all who donated to the silent auction, raffles or made a monetary donation."
This year's event raised $6,000 for MDA. Over the past seven years the event has raised $44,025 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.