By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Memories of a Hudson boy are kept alive as his family prepares for the seventh annual Ride for Sherry’s House and Why Me. This year’s motorcycle ride is scheduled for Sunday, July 10, beginning and ending at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #643, 271 Cox St. in Hudson. There, others can join motorcyclists afterward for a barbecue to support a good cause.
John Musorofi, a Hudson Eagles member, was offered the facility seven years ago for a fundraiser by Joe Chaves, past president and now state officer. John and his wife, Lenore, organized the ride in honor of their step-grandson Nicky Cremins, who passed away at age 8 of bone cancer in 2001. They were joined by their daughter-in-law Heather, son Chris, and their daughter Jackie.
Nicky is remembered as an active second-grader at Forest Avenue Elementary School, where he was a Cub Scout in Den 4, Pack 4. He played T-ball, held an orange belt in karate and was an avid fisherman.
His family received financial and emotional assistance from Why Me, a Worcester-based nonprofit organization created in 1985 to help families in central New England cope with childhood cancer. At the time, Nicky’s family members attended Why Me support groups at a Worcester hotel. Now, its headquarters is known as Sherry’s House, which is also a temporary home-away-from-home for children with cancer and their families.
Why Me and Sherry’s House don’t receive state or federal funding. The organization’s staff is grateful to Nicky’s family for giving back annually with a fundraiser, noted Danielle Perron Sikonski, director of family services and events manager.
“To have someone consistently do a fundraiser is so crucial for us to continue our mission of helping children with cancer,” she said. “Funds raised will go to our childhood cancer lifeline program, which provides all the support services to families.”
Sherry’s House opened in 2004, allowing the organization to offer residential assistance. Support groups and other events are also held there. Why Me has evolved significantly throughout its 30th years.
“With our increasing number of families, we’ve also been able to increase our services,” Perron Sikonski said. “We’re adding new programs, events, more weeks onto our summer camp and retreats for our support groups. We’re able to do everything we do free of charge to the families because of fundraisers like this that continue to support us year after year.”
Each year shortly before the motorcycle ride begins, a family member who has been affected by childhood cancer shares their experience. Often, their stories involve Why Me and/or Sherry’s House.
“Once you’re a ‘Why Me family,’ you’re always a ‘Why Me family,’” Lenore said.
The ride travels a 63-mile route to Princeton and back. John’s experience as a motorcyclist has helped the event run smoothly.
“It’s on a Sunday morning when there’s less traffic on the road,” he noted.
While the Marlborough Eagle Riders #3565 handle the staging, many Hudson Eagle members take charge of the setup, barbequing and cleanup. Firefighter Ronnie Blood sings the national anthem. The Hudson Fire Department hangs a large American flag over Coolidge Street near the Route 495 ramp to welcome the riders’ return.
In the past years six years, the fundraiser has donated over $60,000 to the charity.
Lenore added, “[Hudson Eagles] President Paul Burgess, his wife Lisa and all the club members are determined to make this a successful ride once again.”
Donation for riders is $20 per person. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The ride starts at 11 a.m. Walk-ins for the barbecue for $10 are welcomed at 1:30 p.m. For more information about the fundraiser, call John at 508-561-7204. For information about Why Me and Sherry’s House, visit whyme.org and on Facebook.