Fred Georgoulis got involved with the Jimmy Fund, a fund-raising non-profit organization for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts, about five years ago after a loved one developed breast cancer.
Georgoulis trekked through an annual 26-mile Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund walk several times and then last year he opened the throttle on a Boston Marathon Motorcycle Ride. Earlier this year, he received a letter from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute embracing the idea and giving him permission to roll forward.
"I have many friends that are motorcycle enthusiasts so I spoke to them and the response was overwhelming," said Georgoulis, a 40-year rider. "So I incorporated my love for motorcycles and Dana Farber and Jimmy Fund with the idea of doing a Boston Marathon Motorcycle Ride."
The inaugural ride takes on even more meaning after the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings in April that killed three and injured more than 140. Georgoulis arranged to incorporate the entire route of the actual 26.1 mile Boston Marathon in the motorcycle ride's 65-mile run as a way to honor the lost. Additionally, Georgoulis reached out to all local law enforcement agencies including the MIT Police Department's motorcycle unit, and invited them to join the ride as a way to honor Officer Sean Collier of the MIT Police Department, who was shot and killed by one of the terrorists.
The motorcycle ride concludes with a wreath laying ceremony at MIT where Collier was killed. Officer Dick Donahue with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, who was shot in a shootout with the terrorists right after Collier was killed, will be laying down the wreath. Coincidentally, Donahue and Collier were roommates in the police academy. Donahue reportedly lost most of his blood causing his heart to stop. Medical personnel took 45 minutes to restart his heart.
All proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund, which Georgoulis discovered was a favorite charity of Collier's. Currently, riders from around New England are registered as well as hundreds of police officers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
"We hope to have 1,000 riders and raise $25,000," said Georgoulis, who will be riding his Harley-Davidson FXRS Low Rider. "This ride will be an annual event just like the Boston Marathon and it is now recognized as an authorized Boston Marathon."
Register online or in person from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday at 5 Parkwood Drive in Hopkinton, MA. Kickstands are up at 11:30 a.m. The ride ends at MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, MA. An after party is at 163 Pawtucket Blvd. in Lowell, MA.
Other Rides Scheduled This Weekend
Prostate Cancer Pony Express August 7-11: This four-day ride takes motorcyclists from the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and ends in Washington, DC.
Ride for the Kids August 10: The Fragile Kids Foundations hosts this 5th annual ride. Register online or in person at 9 a.m. at Gene Evans Great South Harley-Davidson, 185 East Hwy 16, Newnan, GA. Kickstands up at 10:30 a.m.
Cruisin' for St. Jude's Run August 10: This 8th annual ride starts at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration is over so register in person from 9 to 10:15 a.m. at Leipold Motor Sales, 1720 E. Norris Dr. in Ottawa, IL.
22nd Annual Down Bikers Fund August 10: The annual Poker Run has two routes both starting and ending at the Blue Front Café, 1414 Linden Ave. in Zanesville, OH. Proceeds benefit the Down Bikers Fund.
27th Annual Toy Run August 10: United Motorcyclists of Vermont host their 27th annual Toy Run to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Staging is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Berlin, VT.
The Man Ride August 10: The 4th annual Man Ride benefits the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute for prostate cancer, outreach, awareness and educational programs. Former UT head football coach Phillip Fulmer joins the ride that begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy in Maryville, TN. Register online or in person beginning at 9 a.m.
Restek Relay for Life August 10: A 100-mile poker ride benefits American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Register from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and leave when ready from Restek, 110 Benner Circle in Bellefonte, PA.
Ride for Kids August 11: Ride for Kids benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and features numerous rides throughout the country during the year. This weekend kickstands are up in Salt Lake City.