October 21, 2014

Medina
Showers
46°F

Motorcyclists wear leather and pink for breast cancer awareness ride

Don Thomas and Steve Minnick take a break from registration to pose for a photo with the bras they decorated for the poker run. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Don Thomas and Steve Minnick take a break from registration to pose for a photo with the bras they decorated for the poker run. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Motorcycle riders traded in drab black and leather for bright pink, feathers and tutus on Sunday to participate in a poker run aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer.

The “Scooters for Hooters” poker run circled the county on Sunday afternoon before ending the day at Buffalo Wild Wings on state Route 18 in Medina. The first such run in Medina was organized by a group of women who participate in Susan G. Komen events.

“Everyone got really into it,” said Bobbi Havrilla, who lost her mother to breast cancer in 2011. Havrilla, who lives in Wadsworth and rides a Harley-Davidson, knew her fellow riders would support the event, but she never expected the men to get competitive about the bra decorating contest that followed the ride.

Eileen Smith, left and Vickie Curry, right, wave goodbye as they prepare to embark on the Scooters for Hooters Poker Run on Sunday in Medina. The two traveled from Columbus to participate in the Poker Run to raise money for Susan G. Komen For a Cure Foundation. Eileen will be walking with a group from Medina in a Race for the Cure event in Georgia later this year. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Eileen Smith, left and Vickie Curry, right, wave goodbye as they prepare to embark on the Scooters for Hooters Poker Run on Sunday in Medina. The two traveled from Columbus to participate in the Poker Run to raise money for Susan G. Komen For a Cure Foundation. Eileen will be walking with a group from Medina in a Race for the Cure event in Georgia later this year. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

“They were so secretive, they didn’t get any help from the women and we were so surprised to see what they came up with,” she said.

Vickie Curry, who drove from Columbus in her pink Mini Cooper to ride in the event, said the publicity of wearing pink bras around town is fun, but educational.

“We stopped at a gas station, and of course people are asking about the outfits,” she said.

She said it’s a good way to remind women to perform breast self-exams and raise awareness that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women ages 20 to 59

“So many people have been involved with this in some way, or they know and support someone who’s had breast cancer,” Curry said.

Curry drove in her Mini Cooper with friend Eileen Smith, who lives in Columbus but walks with the Medina group in the annual event. This year, the group plans to travel this fall for a Susan Komen walk in Atlanta.

The group has participated in the Cleveland walk for the last seven years, but in 2013 the walk was canceled and the women traveled to Seattle to walk for the foundation. This year, although the race is back in Cleveland again, the group has decided to travel to Atlanta to walk with a friend, Fran Smith, who is originally from Medina and now lives in Atlanta.

After the ride, the group gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings for auctions and prizes and the men and women with decorated bras were judged for cash prizes. Buffalo Wild Wings gave the bikers space for the bikes and issued coupons for their food purchases that donated 20 percent of their food sales back to the Susan G. Komen fund.

Contact reporter Loren Genson, who served as a judge in the bra decorating contest, at (330) 721-4063 or at lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.