Saturday’s Last Mile Ride – Gifford Medical Center’s annual charity motorcycle ride – attracted more than 180 riders and raised approximately $40,000 for end-of-life care at the nonprofit Randolph medical center.Started in 2006 by Gifford nurse and motorcyclist Lynda McDermott of Randolph, the ride has grown significantly in the five years since in both the number of riders it attracts and the money it raises. This year’s ride took motorcyclists through about 100 miles of central Vermont countryside through Randolph, Northfield, Montpelier, Middlesex, the Mad River Valley, Rochester, Bethel and more. Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak led the ride and combat veterans provided “road guard” services. The ride ended at the hospital with a chicken and rib barbecue and live music from local group “Two for the Show and Company.” Riders were also given free massages and awarded prizes. Riders who raised the most money for the cause received gifts from area motorcycle dealers.Topping the list of riders who raised the most were Tim and Patty Schroeder, who raised $1,847; Linda Chugkowski and Robert Martin, who raised $1,810; and Reg and Rose Mongeur, who collected more than $1,300.Reg Mongeur, a combat veteran, also served as a road guard and rode in memory of his late mother, Caroline Mongeur, who died in Gifford’s Garden Room in May.The Garden Room is a garden-side suite for dying patients and their families. The ride supports free services for those patients as well as for other patients in advanced illness, family bereavement services and special training for Gifford’s staff.“The staff at Gifford and the Garden Room … they made the transition between life and death a lot smoother. Everybody involved from the Gifford side of it, it was like it was their family (member) too,” says Reg Mongeur of how his mother was treated. The experience made Reg all the more supportive of the ride and gave him drive to raise money so others could experience the same service.And Reg – a Vietnam veteran – got a bit of a surprise of his own at the ride.Riders gave the combat veterans a standing ovation for their help at the ride. The act of kindness brought tears to the Vietnam vet’s eyes.This year’s ride also included the raffle of a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in Barre. Art Peper, a 92-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran and prison of war, won the motorcycle.Ride organizer Ashley Lincoln called Peper with the news immediately after the ticket was drawn.“I didn’t believe it,” said Peper, who had collected antique Indian and Harley motorcycles before selling them a few years ago.Schroeder sold Peper the winning ticket on behalf of the hospital. “When Tim sold me the ticket he said, ‘This is the lucky ticket,’ and it was.”Peper bought the ticket to support the ride, not expecting to win. He’s now not quite sure what he’ll do with his shiny new Harley, which Schroeder delivered on Saturday afternoon. “It’s fun, but I don’t think I’ll ever ride it,” said the Randolph resident who has had visitors and plenty of phone calls – some from people he hasn’t talked to in years – since his big win.“It made him very happy,” notes his wife, Rose.Peper’s says he’s just happy the ride raised so much money for end-of-life care.Other winners included Thom Goodwin, a hospital employee from Corinth, who won a stunning quilt make by Gifford nurses. “I’m thrilled and elated. Five nurses poured their heart into creating this. When I look at the quilt I can be reminded daily of what a caring and compassionate community Gifford is,” Goodwin said.And ride volunteer and pediatrician Dr. Mitsu Chobanian was the winner of a 50/50 raffle.The date for next year’s ride has already been set. It will be held Aug. 20, 2010. Visit the hospital’s Web site, www.giffordmed.org(link is external) for updates on 2011 ride and more photos from this year’s ride.The other Last Mile RideMotorcycles roared through the area on Saturday to raise money for end-of-life care at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. But one rider had a much quieter start and finish. Marci White, a Gifford nurse, wife and mother from Braintree, rode her pedal bicycle 37 miles to Northfield and back Saturday morning to support the cause.Source: Gifford Medical Center. 8.24.2010
Fans can expect to see plenty of three and four wide action when the IMCA Modifieds are on the track at Perris Auto Speedway in 2018. (Photo by Vane Ledgerwood)By Scott DaloisioPERRIS, Calif. – While fans of most race tracks across the nation are months away from the first race of 2018, Perris Auto Speedway fans are days away from the opening races of the year when the Riverside County racing facility hosts Winter Heat featuring the IMCA Modifieds along with Super Stocks, Street Stocks and American Factory Stocks on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13 and 14.The pit gate will open at noon both days, spectator gates will open at 2 p.m. and racing will begin at 3 p.m.Both days will feature complete shows with heats, “B” mains (if needed) and “A” mains for all classes. The IMCA Modified portion of each show will award IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Larry Shaw Race Cars Western Region, Allstar Performance California State and Perris Auto Speedway track points.2018 is going to see an expanded season for the IMCA Modified drivers and the drivers from the PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks and American Factory Stocks series at The PAS.With the racing weekends during January and February and a race recently added on July 21, IMCA Modified drivers will have five more dates (providing weather does not intervene) than they did in 2017 to earn points by racing at the famous half-mile clay oval. The three PASSCAR classes will have five extra races, three of which will pay points.“We are genuinely excited about what the IMCA Modified and PASSCAR Series have to offer in 2018,” promoter Don Kazarian said. “The Modified fields have been growing since we brought IMCA back as the sanctioning body in 2015. We are very pleased with what bringing IMCA back has done for our program.“In addition, our other classes have also been doing well. Our PASSCAR Super Stock field has been growing and putting on the best races since the class first began at the track,” he continued. “The Street Stock fields remain healthy and we expect bigger fields in the Factory Stocks all season long as well. We expect to see most of our regular stars at “Winter Heat” and hopefully quite a few visiting drivers. It is going to be a great start to what we think is going to be a great year.”Tickets for the Jan. 13 and 14 races are $15 each day for adults. For active military members with proper ID, teens ages 13-18 with their school ID and kids ages 6-12, admission is $5.00. Children ages five and under are free.The fairgrounds is not charging for parking at January’s Winter Heat events.Perris Auto Speedway is located on the So Cal Fair and Event Center, home of October’s Southern California Fair, approximately one hour east of Los Angeles and one hour north of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway exit on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions on MapQuest, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.