Charity ride for cancer set

Published 9:31 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Suffolk riders will go on a scenic journey to North Carolina this weekend for charity.

The eighth annual Boogie Run charity ride will begin at Suffolk National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard this Saturday. The event is hosted by Mass Production Motorcycle Club and Essentials Social Club.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the ride begins at 10 a.m. Car drivers and motorcyclists will travel to Franklin via Route 58, then take a scenic route to Carolina BBQ in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.

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“It’s a nice country ride,” said Mass Production MC vice president James Brown, known to his fellow riders as “Picture Man.”

Riders will pay $11 for all you can eat and drink at the restaurant. There will be door prizes and a raffle for a 42-inch television.

“They shut down the restaurant for us to come in and eat, and to help out with the Boogie Run,” Brown said.

Brown helped start the ride years ago to support Ashton Gatewood Jr., who suffered from a rare form of cancer. The money was first raised to help his family pay for his treatments in Richmond.

Ashton, or “Boogie” as his fellow riders called him, passed away eight years ago, according to Brown.

“It was a rare disease, and he was a youngster we called a Junior Mass Production,” he said.

Ashton Gatewood Sr., who passed away in the last year, told his fellow riders to keep the ride going in honor of his son and to support others affected by cancer.

“The clubs came together and we kept it going,” Brown said. “We won’t let it die.”

Riders will pay $10 per motorcycle or car, with portions of the proceeds supporting the American Cancer Society.

“My father also passed of cancer,” Brown said. “We all lose loved ones. We strive for goodness and health, and try to beat this thing called cancer.”

Call 707-4548 for more information.