|By Lori Szepelak
Bob “Kaine” Alves, center, holds a poster for the Oct. 13 Wicked in Pink Run to benefit Mercy Medical Center’s Sister Caritas Cancer Center. The ride begins at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Southampton. Katie Riel, motor clothing manager, on left, and Monica Patrick, marketing and advertising manager, both with Harley-Davidson, are supporting Alves’ efforts.
Reminder Publications photo by Lori Szepelak
AGAWAM – Bob “Kaine” Alves hopes to see a “sea of pink” when the inaugural Wicked in Pink Run takes to the streets on Oct. 13.
Alves, president and editor of Western Mass Throttle Rocker magazine, based in Agawam, is on a mission to give back to the Sister Caritas Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, and is hoping area bikers will join him on a 20-mile trek that leaves the Harley-Davidson dealership in Southampton and travels through Westfield, Holyoke and Easthampton.
“This is my pay it forward,” he said during a recent late afternoon interview with Reminder Publications. “I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in March 2012 and had 35 radiation treatments to my face and six rounds of chemotherapy for six months at the cancer center.”
Alves, at age 45, noted that from the cancer center staff to riders across the valley, the outpouring of support during his treatment phase was “phenomenal.” As Alves continues to regain his strength and stamina every day, he also is back on the air as a disc jockey on 94.7 WMAS.
“I received the news last December I was cancer free,” he said.
“Today I feel great,” he added, and has set his sights on the Wicked in Pink Run to say “thank you” to many who were a “big part” of his recovery.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and all bikers will leave the dealership at noon. Alves will lead the contingent on his 2004 Road King Classic.
“I encourage all riders to wear some form of pink,” he said, adding, “pink hats, wigs, shirts, whatever one feels comfortable with.”
Alves was mum on his planned pink attire, only alluding that he has a pink camouflage ensemble being created.
The cost to participate is $20 per person and the fee includes food by Hamel’s Catering and entertainment by Bear Mountain at the Summit View Banquet & Meeting House at the end of the run.
Sponsors of the event, slated rain or shine, include FSC Insurance, Harley-Davidson of Southampton, Haymond Law, Throttle Rocker magazine, 94.7 WMAS, Allen Media, American Medical Response, LH Mickna Photography and Bertera Fiat.
Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the cancer center’s patient services fund, which provides support to cancer patients in dire financial need.
The fund helps with medications, transportation services, special clothes, shoes or other accessories related to cancer care and treatment, and nutritional supplements. Additionally, funds may be used to subsidize special programs and purchase equipment to improve the delivery of care for cancer patients.
“Recognition of the programs and services at the Sister Caritas Cancer Center as a critical resource in the treatment of cancer for our community is important,” Kathryn Madore, manager, Fund Development, Sisters of Providence Health System, said. “Our need for support in the fight against cancer is long-term and urgent; long-term as we fight to find a cure, urgent as we implement new treatments, programs and services that heal.”
Madore added that efforts such as Alves’ and the Wicked in Pink Run reach out and touch many in the community.
“Our mission continues to be a healing transforming presence,” she said.
Pink balloons and long-sleeved T-shirts will be available for sale that morning and all balloons with names of loved ones will be released just before the run begins.
Alves hopes hundreds of riders turn out on Oct. 13 to show their support for those battling cancer, for cancer survivors, and for those loved ones who lost their battle due to cancer.
“I’m happy to be doing the event for a great group of people who help others battle all types of cancers every day,” he said.
The Masonic Knights riding group will be assisting Alves behind the scenes as well as at intersections to ensure the flow of the ride.
For more information, visit www.wickedinpinkrun.com. For persons unable to participate in the run, donations can also be made on the website as well as purchasing T-shirts. Alves also has updates on Facebook – visit Wicked in Pink Run Western Mass. for highlights.
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