The fifteenth annual Traci’s Hope Barbecue and twelfth annual motorcycle ride to Traci’s Hope held on Oct. 6 drew hundreds to the popular event.
Now, 15 years later, more than $500,000 has helped 600-plus individuals since Traci Gibson started the nonprofit.
Traci Gibson was diagnosed with Stage 3b breast cancer at the age of 31 and lived with the disease for seven years; she passed away on Oct. 3, 2006. Traci’s Hope was her inspiration, a fund set up to help breast cancer patients lessen the burden of overwhelming expenses.
For residents of Tioga and Broome Counties in N.Y. and Susquehanna and Bradford Counties in Pa., Traci’s Hope helps individuals undergoing breast cancer treatments pay for expenses outside of medical bills. Consideration is given to such items as gas money to get to appointments, childcare, mortgage or utility bills, or house cleaning, to name just a few.
At the event held at the Apalachin Field Day grounds, guests enjoyed multiple activities, raffles, a merchandise tent, great music and a legendary barbeque with all proceeds benefitting Traci’s Hope.
Although cloudy for a good portion of the day, near summer-like temperatures hovered over the area, and Gordon Shiner, Traci’s father, commented, “It was a beautiful day and also busy since barbeque sales were still going strong after 4:30 p.m.”
The annual motorcycle ride to Traci’s Hope took off from a new location. Organized by the Punishers LE/MC PANYC motorcycle club, riders gathered at the Ransom Steele Tavern located at 552 Main St. in Apalachin.
“We were asked by Traci’s Hope to
help organize the event this year,” commented Keith King, President of the group, who also said the group supports the community by getting involved in a number of other fundraisers.
King, a 22-year veteran police officer, explained that PANYC is primarily comprised of individuals who have been involved in law enforcement or the armed forces. The Apalachin chapter, formed two years ago, is part of the worldwide Punishers started in 1999, which now has 190 chapters across the globe.
Several other motorcycle groups as well as individuals participated on the ride, which encompassed some 75 miles through Tioga County. Bikers first rode in a slow procession past Riverside Cemetery on Marshland Road to pay respects to Traci Gibson, and then proceeded west toward the Lounsberry, Nichols and Waverly areas before a half-way stop in Van Etten.
Prior to leaving the Steele, the annual Traci’s Hope flag, hand-crafted and
painted by Kirk Gibson, was secured to the back of a classic truck which followed the motorcycles. The group arrived at the Field Day grounds shortly after 3 p.m.
Approximately 108 riders and passengers participated, which raised just over $2,000.
You can find Punishers LE/MC PANYC Apalachin on Facebook.
To learn more about Traci’s Hope or to seek assistance, visit their website at www.tracishope.com, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.