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Annual motorcycle run to benefit Children's Hospital

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Area bikers are taking to the road in support of the A. Sandusky Free Care Friends Drive for Children`s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The drive`s second annual 90-mile motorcycle run is set to leave Hoot`s restaurant and lounge, 3115 Walnut St., McKeesport, on Sunday at 11 a.m., with registration beginning there at 10 a.m.

'It`s a good get-together for biker people,' said Andy Sandusky, a retired McKeesport police officer who has made an annual contribution to the Children`s Hospital of Pittsburgh Free Care Fund since 1973.

'It`s nice people, and it`s a good time,' Sandusky said. 'It`s back roads, and everybody sticks together. It`s a scenic cruise.'

From Christy Park, riders will head to Finleyville for a stop at Peters Creek Pub, then to the Elrama fire hall, Palfey`s Crossing Inn in West Newton, Buena Vista fire hall in Elizabeth Township, Double S Saloon in McKeesport and then back to Elizabeth Township to close out the day at the Boston Waterfront.

'We`re due to pull in at the Boston Waterfront at 3 p.m.,' co-organizer Lisa Schnur said. 'You don`t have to be a rider to participate. We have a lot of friends who don`t want to go out on a bike, but they want to come down for the food and entertainment.'

There will be free food and draft beer for those who register. Jill West and the Blues Attack will perform.
Schnur said the motorcycle run has pulled in support for the A. Sandusky Free Care Friends Drive in many different ways.

'At a time when money is extremely tight, it`s amazing to see what people will do to help someone else,' she said.

Children also have taken part in the preparation, Schnur added. Area kids gathered at Hoots over the weekend to color paper butterflies that will decorate stops along the run. After the run, the butterflies will be taken to Children`s.

'Since the kids don`t have money, this is their way of being able to contribute,' Schnur said. 'It`s children helping children.'

Children`s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation chairman Howard W. Hanna III said he`s impressed with how the McKeesport community has rallied around Sandusky and his effort to help Children`s patients.

'Andy has become a legend at Children`s Hospital of Pittsburgh for his fund-raising abilities and his 12-month effort for the Free Care Fund,' Hanna said. 'This isn`t just a one-day event. This is a life`s work.'

Schnur said the motorcycle run helps draw people from outside the McKeesport community to help in Sandusky`s effort.

'We get so much involvement,' she said. 'People are coming from all over.'

Organizers are hoping for at least 100 riders to participate. Registration is $20 per single rider and $30 per couple. The same registration fee applies to those who attend only the Boston Waterfront portion of the fund-raiser.

Also, tickets remain to win a 2011 Harley Davidson Street Glide.

The winning number will be taken from the 7 p.m. three-digit Pennsylvania Lottery Daily Number drawing. There will be 250 tickets sold with four sets of numbers on each ticket.

To purchase a ticket for the motorcycle prize drawing, call Hoot`s at 412-664-4668.

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