Let me start off by saying, being part of the Sandy Corely Memorial Run for as long as I have has been one of the greatest sources of accomplishment in my career. When I first came to Muskegon, making sure the radio station did all it could to help the cause was paramount. The Corley family and the staff at the shop....not to mention the Fremont HOG Chapter are remarkably dedicated to their purpose and their event. In my mind, the least we could do was get all hands on deck to aid in the battle of treatment of cancer for Muskegon and the Lakeshore area.
We helped promote the event, we helped promote the pre-parties, held some pretty spectacular radio auctions. We talked to the rock stars coming there to perform, we took listeners back stage to meet them. All the typical radio stuff. But there was one moment of selfishness for me every year, and that was being asked to stand on stage while the bike raffle and recognition ceremony was going on. To be allowed to introduce Rick and the family and to know that the loss of Sandy was not in vain.
In fact, in the 29 years since we lost the patriarch of the bunch, to fill that hole with the over $2,000,000 dollars for the treatment of area cancer victims has been a testimony to the man. It all started off with a handful of people at Mt. Garfield and now, is probably the second largest event that the Double JJ Resort sees every year. There are still plenty of people in tents, but there are also some pretty big dollar rv's coming in to enjoy the event, and our community. The best part of it all, the fellowship. You take a ride through the campground...people are laughing, partying, talking and sharing. I have been known personally to roam the lot looking for the best food...might even do that this year again. :)
I caught up with Rick Corley at Sandy's Harley-Davidson to talk about this years event, the new date and his personal feelings on the growth of the event and the size of the checks they are still able to present to The Johnson Center for Cancer Care at Mercy Health. Take a listen to our chat below!
It's a huge event. It's one of the Lakeshores liongest running events and it keeps growing eveyr year. Get there! Be a part of the fun, enjoy some or all of the concerts, enjoy the fellowship and purpose started 29 years ago to remember a guy who may have lost the battle, but left a leagacy of friends, family and fellow riders that will remember his name by doing what they can to help others fight cancer. My sincere thanks to Marilyn, Rick Karen and everyone for giving me the chance to be part of the family that makes up the Sandy Corely Memorial Run! Click on that beautiful Harley below for the SCMR page, tickets and more!
I first met Sandy Baker through No More Sidelines of Muskegon. Her son Eric, or as he was known by all of his classmates "Big E", participated in No More Sidelines and he made quite a splash in his days at Reeths-Puffer Schools as the prom king, announcement reader and all around source of awesomeness. They are avid fans of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and no matter where they go, they seem to collect amazing people to help them further what has become a truly remarkable nonprofit that is growing by leaps and bounds. Sandy has crafted a model by which young adults can find their way to as much independence as they can handle. Eric has Downs Syndrome, but he's really never been any different than the other kids. And like any other kid, there comes a time that they need to spread their wings a little.
Yes, kids with Downs grow up and where they might need a hand from time to time, they are like anyone. Funny, smart.....there are the "teen years" who doesn't love those...but as young adults, how do you keep them from wanting to continue with life like anyone else? Simply put you don't. Now the question becomes...where do they go to get that taste of "adulting". Sandy got to work, and in a matter of a few years of research, hunting, non profit forming and again, surrounding herself with all the right people.. Gracious Grounds was born.
A former Hospice residence was found to plant the first Gracious Grounds flag, nestled away on a quiet street in Grand Haven. The house has 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, common areas, a kitchen, office, a really awesome home theater in the basement and every resident has their own personal room. They can decorate in their theme... Big E happens to love the Dukes of Hazzard so as you can imagine...there's plenty of that. Some like Star Wars, some like sports...it's really no different than any other you. They have their own televisions, fridges, bathrooms...personal care items....you name it. It's a remarkable facility...and a remarkable mission.
I had a chance to stop in and see Sandy at Gracious Grounds, take a listen to our chat.
There are people in this world who create miracles. As Gracious Grounds grows, both in and outside of Grand Haven, you're watching one happen. It's amazing what a mothers love..and a pretty good background in her field..young people with unique abilities will know what it's like to be a grown up. Some of the residents there have shown "remarkable progress" in life as well as independence. We all understand what it feels like to accomplish something on our own...it's really amazing. Be the good! If you'd like to know more, make a donation or maybe get tickets to the gala...click on the photo below!