Hogs run for a cause in Albany County

Motorcycle enthusiasts across the Capital District will have an opportunity to ride for a cause Sunday, Aug. 24, when the Albany/Schenectady Harley Owners Club, in conjunction with Spitzie's Motorcycle Center in Albany, will host the 4th annual Hogs for Hospice event. The run is to benefit The Community Hospice of Albany, whose facilities and services have been utilized by many friends and relatives in the club.

The Hogs for Hospice event is a poker run, with five stops across the region. At each stop, riders will pick up a playing card. At the run's conclusion, the rider with the best poker hand is declared the winner. The run will begin at Spitzie's on Central Ave. in Albany, and will continue on to the studio of motorcycle photographer Dino Petrocelli on Old Albany Shaker Road in Latham, who will take a photo of all of the riders. The event will continue on to the Westerlo Firehouse on Route 143, on to a fourth stop to be announced later, and will conclude at the South Schenectady Firehouse. There, all riders will be treated to a barbecue cookout with live music, a silent auction, and prizes being given out for the poker run and various raffles. All proceeds will go to the Community Hospice.

"It's a community effort," said Peter Thomas, director of the Albany/Schenectady Harley Owners Club. "We're getting many donations of food and drinks for the event, and I think people realize this is for a good cause." According to Thomas, last year's event amassed 487 riders, and this year he's hoping to push 500.

This year's event will also recognize Ernie Romanoski, a longtime member of the Albany/Schenectady Harley Owners Club, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Romanoski, who used Albany Community Hospice services up until his passing, will be recognized at the run's post-event party. "He was there long before my tenure," said Thomas. "He was a well respected member of the Hog community and deeply missed by all of its members."

The Hogs for Hospice event is open to the public, with any rider allowed to take part for a $25 registration fee. The fee includes admission to the closing ceremonies, entry into the poker run contest, as well as a copy of the photograph taken by Petrocelli " a $40 value.

For information, contact Peter Thomas at 768-2491, or Spitzie's Motorcycle Center at 456-RIDE.""

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