Supporting Motorcycling and Our Communities Since 1993
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American Spirit and friends attended the 11th Annual Cold Finger's Run New Year's Day 2014 to benefit Camp Adventure, a free sleep-away summer camp program for kids with cancer and their siblings. Along with cold fingers, other frozen extremities were reported! Although, as you can see, nothing puts Uncle Henry's appetite in the deep freeze!!
NEVER FORGET SEPTEMBER 11TH 2001
The World Trade Center, The Pentagon, Flight 93, all the First Responders, and the innocent, Men, Women, and Children who lost their lives that day at the hands of a group of cowardly terrorists on an errand of unforgivable murder.
Congratulations to Bob Fleming the newest member of the American Spirit Family. He is pictured here accepting his patches from President Sal Lima. Welcome, Bob!
ELKS POKER RUN
On September 28th, the New Bern Elks Lodge #764, held their Third Annual Poker Run to benefit Wounded Warriors and Veterans. The run started on a beautiful Eastern North Carolina morning at New Bern Harley Davidson. Registration began at 9:45 and ended at 10:30. Naturally, Kathy and I arrived late, round about 10:50 and almost missed the sign-up! We were told the coffee and donuts were long gone, but we should be able to complete the route and still be in time for lunch, cash prizes for the best and worst poker hands, 50/50 and the door prizes. Well, by the time we found the first check point to draw a card it had closed, however, we drove on! The run was about 130 miles, from New Bern to Morehead City, Swansboro, Kinston, then ending at the New Bern Lodge. Kathy had plans for later in the afternoon, so I headed to the Elks Lodge alone. Turns out the folks at the Lodge were waiting for us to present the three door prizes we had won. I was so thrilled with the hospitality that the folks at the Lodge extended to us, I donated the prizes we won back to the Lodge! Cheryl Lawrence, an Elk, was happy to receive the donation, and assured me they would be put to good use to benefit Veteran services.
Lodge members prepared and served a delicious lunch of Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches with all the fixings! Beer, wine and soda was available for those who were so inclined.
Might I add that a great time was had by all!
At a recent charity event related to the cure of cancer, our own Uncle Henry, a member of the Suffolk Chapter of ASMC was approached by a delightful lady who handed him a flyer for another run. Uncle Henry, being of positive personality plus, and never one to turn down a lady, immediately read the flyer and struck up a conversation. Turns out he was talking to the Aunt of Olivia McGowan. On July 17, 2003, Rich and Sharon McGowan celebrated the birth of their first child, daughter Olivia. Olivia was born at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and immediately taken to the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for evaluation. There, she was diagnosed with a condition called Fryns Syndrome, a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome usually resulting in neonatal death. Because most babies would succumb to this syndrome either before birth or shortly after, doctors could not offer Rich and Sharon much information or tell them the life expectancy of their baby girl. Over the next eight years, Olivia endured many surgeries. She was in and out of the hospital, often staying for days or weeks at a time. “Olivia endured more in her eight years of life than any of us will ever go through in a lifetime,” Sharon said. “Rich always called her his ‘brave little soldier.’ She was a tough little girl. We treated Olivia like any other [healthy] child because in our eyes she was no different.” On August 23, 2011, Olivia unexpectedly passed away at home. Just a few weeks earlier, Rich and Sharon had been told that Olivia was the oldest living child with Fryns Syndrome. “Rich ([a major in the army] was on travel with the military when Olivia passed, and it was up to me to make the call to him and break the news. I did the best I could to get the words out that our little girl had passed away. Our lives had revolved around our little angel and now we would be saying goodbye to her,” Sharon recalled. Remembering Olivia, Sharon said, “She had an amazing personality. She made us laugh, she was silly. Anyone who had the chance to meet Olivia could not help but fall in love with her. She was surrounded by so much love from so many people.” “Rich and I were and still are her biggest advocates,” Sharon added. “We are the people that we are today because of Olivia. We could not have endured all that we went through without the support of family, friends and, above all, her many doctors, nurses and physical therapists at Children’s Hospital. I believe that with the information we have now, we can help other families who are going through a similar situation.” This September a motorcycle run was held in Marlborough, Massachusetts to raise awareness about Fryns Syndrome. Mad Mike, Uncle Henry and Big John, traveled over two hundred miles from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York to participate in Olivia's Run. For all concerned it was a heart warming and unforgettable experience
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.