Event again benefits American Cancer Society, Volunteer Transportation Center

SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. – North Country Against Cancer hosted its 21st Annual SpokerRide Saturday, July 29, to once again benefit the American Cancer Society and the Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. This year saw more than $13,500 raised for the two non-profit organizations.

This year’s event also saw nearly 100 individuals participate among the three courses offered: a 30-mile (beginner/intermediate) course, 50-mile (advanced) course, and novice 10-mile fun course available for those riders that want to participate but not race. All three courses started and ended in Sackets Harbor.

Jamie Campbell of Mattydale, pictured here, took first place in the Male Overall category for the 30-mile course, with a time of 1:09:55. He was followed by James Ouderkirk of Syracuse in second place with a time of 1:14:12 and Michael Harris of Chaumont in third place with a time of 1:14:12.

Jeffrey A. Wood – who organizes the event with his brother, Steven C. Wood – said it was a great turnout again this year, despite the inclement weather.

“SpokerRiders are resilient and took the challenge head on to help us in our effort to battle cancer and provide transportation to those most in need,” said Jeffrey Wood.

Steven Wood agreed, noting this year’s event was like no other.

“Mother Nature has always been kind on race day but this year was certainly different,” he said. “Our staggered starts of the 10-mile, 30-mile and 50-mile courses were successful but the rains came soon after. Torrential rain during much of the 30 and 50 did not deter our riders though. Many made the best of it and continued to ride and race.”

Steven Wood continued by saying, “Our road marshals continued their duties in the rain and are an important part of the day. We couldn’t have a successful race without them.”

In the 50-mile course, Joshua Graves of Baldwinsville took first place in the Male Overall category with a time of 1:46:38. He was followed by Justin Rice of Sackets Harbor in second place with a time of 1:51:50 and Tyler Burke of Rochester in third place with a time of 1:51:52. In the Female Overall category, Lindsey Clark of Baldwinsville finished in first place with a time of 1:58:37. She was followed by Val Allen of Cornwall, Ontario, in second place with a time of 2:08:24 and Tiffany Gallagher of Liverpool with a time of 2:20:04.

In the 30-mile course, Jamie Campbell of Mattydale took first place in the Male Overall category with a time of 1:09:55. He was followed by James Ouderkirk of Syracuse in second place with a time of 1:14:12 and Michael Harris of Chaumont in third place with a time of 1:14:12. In the Female Overall category, Emily Shaw of Potsdam took first place with a time of 1:21:43. Laura Taylor of Key Biscayne, Fla., took second with a time of 1:27:14 and Kara Rusch of Hamilton came in third place with a time of 1:33:58.

The top three winners overall and top three winners of each division were awarded ribbons and all participants were able to receive commemorative medals. Additional results may be found online at www.spokerride.net.

This year’s event was underwritten by Samaritan Medical Center, Stewart’s Shops, and Westelcom. Sponsorships were also provided by Boots Brewing Company; CEM Machine Inc.; Cheney Tire; Clipper Inn; Con-Tech Building Systems; Crowley & Halloran, CPAs, P.C.; Independent Medical Evaluation Company; Knowlton Technologies; O.D. Greene Lumber Co.; Sackets Harbor Chamber of Commerce; Watertown Elks Lodge 496; Watertown Firefighters Benevolent Association; Watertown Hearing Aid Center; Watertown Savings Bank; Weldon & Trimper Law Firm; and Wratten’s RVs. This year’s event also included support from Frank Rhode, John Deal III, Steven Maki, Darryl King, and Heidi Smith, in memory of Dave Smith. Additional support was provided by Black River Adventurers Shop, Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Sam’s Club.

Door prizes were donated this year by 5 Star Nutrition Watertown; Adams Country Club; Ascension Nutrition; Balanced Nutrition; Bedford Creek Golf Course; Beese’s Depot Café; Bill Saiff’s Westview Lodge & Marina; Black River Adventurer’s Shop; Carson’s Pizzeria & Bar; Detail This; Fleet Feet Syracuse; Impact Nutrition 315; Junk In The Trunk Antiques & Crafts; Longhorn Steakhouse; Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology; Nu Pier Restaurant; Olive Garden; Red Lobster; Rhodes Greenhouse; Rudd’s Town & Country; Runnings; Spookhill Bar & Grill; The Adams Cheese Shop; The Battlefield Eatery; The Bottle of Sackets Harbor; The Harbor House Inn; The Sandwich Bar; Tops Friendly Markets; Watertown Daily Times; and Zoo New York.

Financial support and the support of donations, said Jeffrey Wood, is important to the SpokerRide. Without that generosity, he said, it becomes very difficult to put on such a successful event.

“We couldn’t do it without the tireless efforts of so many sponsors and our volunteers,” he said. “Thank you to all that helped make this event a success.”

Steven Wood also noted the Sackets Harbor community continues to support the SpokerRide and for that, the organizers thank them, along with the Village of Sackets Harbor Department of Public Works, Police Department and Board of Trustees, as well as the Town of Hounsfield Board of Trustees.

Volunteer Transportation Center Executive Director Samuel M. Purington said he is also again grateful for the support this year’s ride saw from both sponsors and participants.

“We continue to have great support from the community and we greatly appreciate it,” said Mr. Purington. “Every year, Jeff and Steve put on a great event that takes a lot of hard work. We can’t thank them enough for what it means to our organization and the American Cancer Society.”

American Cancer Society Community Executive Donald J. Boshart also expressed his appreciation.

“I want to thank those volunteers, riders, and donors involved with the planning, and execution of the annual SpokerRide this past weekend,” said Mr. Boshart. “The Wood brothers — Steve and Jeff — continue to lead the way raising funds that support the American Cancer Society in our quest to eliminate cancer for everybody.”

Since its inception, the SpokerRide has raised nearly $200,000 through sponsorships and through the participation of more than 3,000 riders for organizations providing support to those living with cancer, seeing through the vision of North Country Against Cancer, a group of survivors and supporters touched by cancer and willing to give back to those that are fighting this disease.

Those interested in sponsoring or participating in next year’s SpokerRide may visit www.spokerride.net for more information about the event. Registration links for next year’s event will be active soon. Once active, click on the Registration link or send a completed registration form with payment made out to “Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation” and mailed in care of North Country Against Cancer to 24685 State Route 37, Watertown, N.Y. 13601.

For more information or to register, contact organizer Jeff Wood at 315-783-6258 or spokerride@gmail.com.