On Saturday, October 6, the Third Annual Breast Cancer Motorcycle Run was held with hundreds of bikers, many of them Sunset Park residents, on hand to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.
The day started at Cotton Hustle, 5012 Third Avenue, a local screen printing and clothing store, which had collaborated with Hustle Kingz BK, Cotton Hustle, Freedom Bloxx, Gotham Riders and the Erica Roman Foundation to make the event happen. The run ended at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, where attendees visited those battling the disease, eating and mingling with them.
Jose Rosario, an event organizer and president of Hustle Kingz BK, a local motorcycle club, said that this was the most successful year to date.
“It was so great. I’m a micromanager myself but I had some amazing help from people that reached out and just wanted to participate,” he said. “We had over 300 bikers participating.”
The day kicked off with breakfast at Cotton Hustle, with food donated by local businesses, including Sunset Bagels. Then, the bikers lined up from 49th to 52nd Street, on bikes ranging from Slingshots and Can-ams, to dirt bikes, to Harley Davidsons.
“We were all dressed in pink,” Rosario said, noting that observers cheered them on. “There were so many people taking videos and pictures, honking their horns in support. It was unbelievable.”
Once at the Hope Lounge, police officers helped the participants through the congested area, something that Rosario said made the whole event possible.
“I didn’t expect that many people this year,” Rosario told this paper. “Last year, we had 50-100 and some broke off, but this year everyone wanted to come to the Hope Lounge. It was overwhelming.”
The event is personal for Rosario, as his step-mother is in the late stages of breast cancer.
“My mom talked to other patients about how she’s battling it,” he said. “She’s been battling it for 25 years. She wanted to ride on one of the bikes. She said if this is my last time at this event, I want to go out with a bang. She rode on a Slingshot with someone and was so happy.”
The appreciation of the patients makes the event worthwhile, Rosario stressed.
“The thank yous and hugs we received were amazing,” he said. “People from all over the country are there to get treatment.”
An awards ceremony is slated for next month to recognize everyone who participated and donated.