PDT Staff Writer
The threat of some rain may have kept the numbers down a bit, but not the enthusiasm at Saturday’s Southern Ohio Medical Center Hospice Memorial Motorcycle Ride.
“It was started by patient that we had who was a rider, and he wanted to do something to give back, and so he contacted some of his friends and really got the thing going before we were an active part of it,” SOMC Hospice Director Teresa Ruby said. “It just generated so much good energy and goodwill that we’ve continued it.”
All the funds raised go to a great cause.
“The money goes into our Caritas Fund, and that money is set aside to go toward benefiting our patients’ families,” Ruby said. “It covers things insurance wouldn’t cover such as supplies and different things like that. Little things that will put a hardship on families. We also do special things - we recognize birthdays, anniversaries, we’ve had patients get married.”
Ruby said the money also goes for special wishes by patients.
“We’ve had patients who haven’t been back to what they call their home place for years, so we’ll make arrangements to transport them back so they can visit their home place and neighbors and friends, and that kind of thing,” Ruby said. “It’s really an extra special fund that the community provides for us so we can do things for families that can make a difference.”
Brock Entler said he was excited about getting back to the ridge after a year off last year - something he had not planned on.
“Some friends of mine in the fire department I work with were ready to go on the ride, and I didn’t show up, and they called and found out that I had to be admitted into the hospital for a problem I had with my heart,” Entler said. “So I didn’t get to participate last year, but I have been at the others.”
This is Entler’s fourth year participating in the SOMC Hospice Memorial Ride.
“It’s for a good cause,” Entler said “My family has used the hospice center and the treatment that we have gotten there not only for the patient but for the family. The way they treated us is just unbelievable.”
Melanie Altiers was getting ready to hop on her Sportster 1200.
“I’ve been riding since 1976,” Altiers said. “It’s freedom.”
Altiers too is a regular at the event.
“I ride every year,” Altiers said. “It’s a perfect benefit. I love riding, but it’s a good cause.”
Sheila Riggs with SOMC Hospice is one of the organizers of the event who wears several hats, and on Saturday, a bandana, though she said she is not a driver, just a passenger.
“We start planning for this even after our Hike (for Hospice),” Riggs said. “That’s when really start buckling down on the ride, but it’s a community thing. The Brothers of the Wheel, American Legion Post 23, they help me a lot, getting everything organized. And it’s just wonderful.”
Riggs said the bikers are always great to work with.
“They’re awesome,” Riggs said. “All I have to do is just ask and they’re there - the roadblocking during the ride - I don’t ever have to worry about any of that kind of stuff. Everything is left up to them and they do an awesome job.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.