35th annual Fall Run: Hundreds of bikers rally for Shriners Hospitals for Children


Photo Gallery | 35th annual Fall Run Motorcycle Ride

Video | Motorcycle enthusiasts ride through Route 8 in Adams for the 35th annual Fall Run to raise money for the Shriners.

ADAMS — Hundreds of roaring engines Sunday morning helped raise thousands of dollars for youngsters with serious medical attention.

Bikers from around the region revved up their Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycles, to name a few, riding from Bowe Field to the Mohawk Trail Campground in Charlemont in the 35th annual Fall Run. The Shriners Hospitals for Children - Springfield benefits from the police-escorted convoy that includes Shriners and former patients. Dorie Mercure, born prematurely, spent a good part of her childhood at the hospital.

"My kids are so proud of me ... to overcome and to give back [to Shriners]," said the Conway mother of three children.

Most of the roughly 2,000 motorcyclists assemble at Bowe field, home of the Adams Agricultural Fair, the rest joining in along the way, according to long-time organizer Michael Robert.

The owner of Custom City Cycle says the turnout has been constant in recent years, with many keeping the weekends in late September open on their calendars.

"Half the time I don't have to advertise," he said. "It's automatic for some people."

"You say Shriners and people are there," added Stacy Sylvester of Williamstown.

The granddaughter of a Shriner and former hospital patient was riding with Peter LePage, also of Williamstown, who did notice some first-timers lining up for the rally.

"We know a lot of people here, but we also see a lot of new people this year," he said.

Entering the Fall Run costs nothing, with the bikers and others giving freely, with the total usually topping $20,000 the last several events. Robert said 2015 Fall Run brought in $24,000, with this year's tally being finalized.

Shriners is a nonprofit organization — an extension of the Free Masons — whose hospitals treat a variety of ailments such as cerebral palsy, cleft palates and orthopaedic deformities or injuries.

The Berkshire Lodge Af & AM (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons) was on hand with it's food trailer selling breakfasts sandwiches and beverages to fuel up the motorcyclists for their road trip. The Fall Run helps kick-off the autumnal activities in North Berkshire, according to lodge master, Lenny Ziarnik.

"It brings a lot of people out and is kind of the closing for summer," said the Adams native who later donned his helmet and biker jacket and mounted his 2013 Triumph Daytona to join the rally.

As Fall Run participation has grown over the years, so has the amount of planning time and volunteers needed to keep it a success.

Robert says about 100 local folks help out prior to and the day of the event that is really a weekend affair. Hundreds of participants enjoy themselves during Bike Night on Saturday, a three-hour festive gathering at the Adams Visitors Center.

On rally day, a small group of women, led by Kory Poirot, handle last minute registrations and sell apparel marking the worthwhile occasion.

"We're almost out of T-shirts," she said at the registration table. "They all know this is for the kids and it's a tradition — they want to go on the Fall Run."

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233


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