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Angel Ride For Hospice draws bikers to Buzz Inn | SLIDESHOW
SMOKEY POINT — Close to 100 motorcycle riders packed the parking lot of the Buzz Inn for the third year in a row on Saturday, July 14, to help raise money for those facing end-of-life issues at young ages.
Although this marked three years that the Buzz Inn has served as the starting point for the Angel Ride For Hospice motorcycle poker run's 120-mile loop out to the Sauk River and back to Arlington, it was the 10th year for the charity event itself, which benefits the Carousel Program, Hospice's pediatric service for children from birth to 18 years old.
On a daily basis, the Carousel Program provides care for medically fragile children and assists families in end-of-life care for their children. Additionally, critical bereavement services are offered to provide the necessary support and care to grieving children who have lost loved ones, through programs such as Camp Erin.
"We'd already raised at least $2,900 in sponsorships before this morning," said Connie Wittren, director of Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County, on July 14. "This is about the size of the group that we usually get here, weather depending. These folks really step up, and not just because they love being on their bikes."
The goal for this year's Angel Ride For Hospice was to raise at least $10,000 for the Carousel Program. Last year, the program supported approximately 275 local families who were facing difficult and complicated times, and potentially the loss of loved ones.
"We get loyal attendees who turn out every year for this," Wittren said. "These programs simply would not happen without them."
At the same time, this year's Angel Ride For Hospice saw several first-time attendees, from Marysville's Shane Epperson and Steve Winners to a group of veterans including two members of the Sedro-Woolley chapter of the American Legion. Jim Scott of Granite Falls found out about the ride online and informed Darrell Coggins of Concrete, as well as father-and-son riders Gary and Chris DeHaven of Stanwood.
"This is an annual event for all of us from now on," said Scott, who agreed with fellow Legionnaire Coggins that they already do at least 30 such charity rides each year. "We're going to be giving burned children rides on our bikes next month."
In addition to feeling proud of supporting good causes, Scott and Coggins also enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow bikers and the freedom of the open road.
If you have any questions regarding Hospice or the Angel Ride, or would like to make a gift, please contact the Providence Hospice and Home Care Foundation offices at 425-261-4822 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AngelRideforHospice.