Motorcyclists to gather for ride, lunch to raise funds for AtlantiCare

Billy Faisst, owner of Billy’s Oak Tavern, posed with his parents, Helen and Bob Faisst, at the ARMC Mainland Auxiliary’s inaugural Pike-a-thon in 2009. ‘We had an unexpected great niece that came six weeks early, and she was in the (NICU) for two weeks, so I figured it helped us out, so we can help other people out,’ Billy Faist said, explaining why he has hosted the Pike-a-thon reception.

Donna Mossey is an administrative associate at the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus' Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She's also an avid motorcycle rider, always itching for an excuse to go for a spin on her Harley Davidson Sportster.

On Sunday, Aug. 12, she'll again have the chance to combine her professional and personal passions in the AtlantiCare Mainland Auxiliary's fourth-annual Pike-a-thon motorcycle ride and luncheon.

"My husband and I, we ride motorcycles, and the first year I heard they were doing this, I was really excited about it," Mossey said. "I went to it and had a great time and have gone every year since."

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The ride starts at Atlantic County Harley Davidson at 219 East White Horse Pike in Galloway Township and ends at Billy's Oak Grove at 5324 White Horse Pike in Egg Harbor City. Registration runs 10 to 11:15 a.m., and the last rider will depart by 11:30 a.m.

Linda Stanton, president of the Mainland Auxiliary, said the group came up with the idea of holding the Pike-a-thon five years ago while brainstorming ways to tap into audiences their other fundraisers, such as luncheons and dinners at local restaurants, had yet to reach.

"We talked to different organizations and we found out the majority of motorcycle groups have a philanthropic level to their bylaws and organizations, and they're anxious to be part of things like this," Stanton said.

A donation of $20 per rider and $10 per passenger includes a plate at the reception pig roast at Billy's Oak Grove at 2 p.m. Walk-ins, at $15 a plate, are welcome. The lunch also includes giveaways and music.

Billy Faisst, owner of Billy's Oak Grove, has hosted the Pike-a-thon reception for three years, inspired by a personal family connection to the ARMC NICU.

"We had an unexpected great niece that came six weeks early, and she was in the (NICU) for two weeks, so I figured it helped us out, so we can help other people out," Faisst said.

Businesses throughout the community have donated items, which include a wheelbarrow of liquor and a few mountain bikes as main attractions, to be raffled at the reception.

Chris Silva, who owns the enterprise and security intelligence company KovaCorp, has been a big supporter of the event in the past, donating Phillies tickets last year and this year making a sizable donation to AtlantiCare. He said he wanted to give because of the positive impression he had gotten from the hospital when his wife and daughter were treated there.

"I was able to absolutely see a difference in the hospital, in how the personnel reacted and how they treat the parents, from other places I had been," Silva said.

At its core, the Pike-a-thon is a great way to give back to an institution that has become a pillar of the community. First and foremost, it's about the babies and families the NICU serves, Mossey said - but whether you go for the charity, the company, the ride or the whole package, it's sure to be a good time.

"It helps our unit get items to help with the care of the children, and it's just a great cause, it's our future," Mossey said. "It's a lot of people getting together and taking a nice motorcycle ride through the pine barrens and having your stops. They have lots of prizes at the end. It's just a good time. It's a great day with nice people."

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