MARLBOROUGH – Over 250 motorcyclists endured humidity Aug. 6 to participate in the ninth Shawna Jean Larassa (SJL) Memorial Ride.
Beginning and ending at the Marlborough Moose Family Center 1129, the ride is a fundraiser for the SJL Memorial Scholarship Fund.
George Larassa established the fund in memory of his daughter Shawna, who died from a vehicle accident at age 19 in 2009.
Larassa expressed appreciation for the fundraiser’s ongoing supporters.
“Bikers are the most giving people ever,” he said.
For the second year, prior to the ride, Shawna’s best friend Angie Moulton sang the national anthem.
This year’s 55-mile route traveled through 10 communities including Marlborough and Hudson. Larassa led the ride with an escort from motorcycle police representing Marlborough, Grafton and Auburn.
Other supporters joined ride participants afterward.
Postride activities included lunch catered by Brad Tolan and Bemo. Joey D’s Wingz ‘n Thingz donated a portion of its sales to the fundraiser. Kids were treated to free ice cream.
Live musical entertainment was provided by the Missy Maxfield Project. Its repertoire featured a blend of classic and Southern rock, R&B, pop and country.
Fundraising continued with raffles. Among the big-ticket prizes was a Coolster 125cc dirt bike donated by Scott Latour in memory of Jessica Simone and Emily Blouin.
Also, Larassa agreed to get his hair cut and donate it to Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit that serves children experiencing hair loss. A number of supporters collectively donated $375 for Larassa’s hairstyle to be chosen by his girlfriend Cindy Bonini.
Several inches of Larassa’s hair got cut and mustache trimmed by Jen Raybould-Monfalcone of Shine Salon.
Bonini approved of Larassa’s new look.
“After 11 years, he can finally meet my family,” she said.
Post ride activities continued with the fundraiser’s traditional butterfly release.
Loyal supporters welcome the return of the SJL Memorial Ride