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Bikers ride for breast cancer

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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media The Protectors, a motorcycle club for law enforcement, attended the Road Rally for Breast Cancer Awareness in Coxsackie on Sunday.
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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media Bikers got together to ride in a rally for breast cancer in Coxsackie.
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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media Lacey Sala, owner of The Saloon in East Durham, goes over the route with the participants on Sunday at Salon 255 in Coxsackie.
September 10, 2018 12:15 am

COXSACKIE — Bikers suited up to participate in a rally for breast cancer Sunday.

Spring Kelsey, owner of Salon 255 in Coxsackie, organized the ninth annual Road Rally for Breast Cancer Awareness on Sunday. This event, along with her “Pink Up the Town” event on Oct. 13, raises money for Albany Medical Center’s Patricia J. Brandow Foundation for breast cancer research.

“It’s a great day, it’s not raining and everyone has time to break out their leather,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey was inspired by her mother, who battled breast cancer in 1986.

“I think if we had known more about it then, we could have helped her,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey was at a bike event in Daytona, Florida, with Terry and Ralph Borwegen of Greenville, when they came up with the idea, Terry Borwegen said.

The Borwegens lead the rally every year, Kelsey said.

The rally travels around the perimeter of the county — a 100-mile trip, Kelsey said.

“We’ll go through Cairo, make a couple stops up the mountain and head back down the mountain to The Saloon,” she said, adding that more riders will join along the way.

Raffles and giveaways will take place when the ride comes to a halt at The Saloon in East Durham at approximately 5 p.m., she said.

The Saloon also donates the food for the event, said owner Lacey Sala.

“We have a big buffet with wings, ziti, pizzas, salads and nacho platters,” she said.

The cost for participants was $20 per driver and $15 per passenger.

“We raised $10,000 last year,” said Kelsey.

Barry Brandow, of Coxsackie, became involved with the event to honor his late wife, Patricia, for whom the foundation is named.

Brandow also founded the Albany Medical Center annual lecture series “Patricia Brandow Endowed Lecture,” which is an informational series about breast cancer and other women’s health issues.

“This year’s lecture will be on November first,” he said.

Denise Adargan, of Coxsackie, also came out to support a loved one.

“My boyfriend passed away from colon cancer,” she said, adding that this is her second year attending.

“I like seeing all the motorcycle people coming down... my boyfriend had a motorcycle and I used to ride with him,” she said.

Sean McCulloch, president of the Protectors, a motorcycle club for law enforcement, participated in the event with five other members.

“We go to as many bike events as we can through Greene County,” he said, adding this was their first time attending Sunday’s ride.

“I like the comaraderie... and we get to relax and enjoy the mountains,” he said.

The Protectors will be hosting its own biking event, “Kick Cancer’s Butt,” on Sept. 22 in Athens.

The rally continues to evolve each year, often with new routes for the scenic ride, Kelsey said.

“We want to expand it more next year,” Terry Borwegen said. “We want to include antique cars, regular cars... anyone can join.”

Borwegen also hopes more businesses will become involved so there will be more stops on the route.

The fight against breast cancer is something many in the local community can relate to.

“It hits everyone or someone they know at some point,” Kelsey said.