Friday, May 24, 2013
"Fight Like a Girl" is the mantra being chanted by a group of female motorcyclists who plan to rumble on the mean streets of Belfast this September.
The Holy Walkamoles team includes, from left, Bobbie-Jo Macomber, Carissa Carter, Mandie Sawyer, Samantha Hammond, Jessica Goody, Chelsea Bubar, Lori Cobb and Jennifer Betzer. Absent at the time of this photo were Arinn Goody and Kyhle Copp.
THE RIDE AT A GLANCE
WHAT: The Holy Walkamoles premiere "Ride for the Racks Motorcycle Ride"
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sept. 22
WHERE: Bowen's Tavern, Belfast
HOW MUCH: $20 for drivers, $10 for passengers, $5 for a concert featuring the band Rock Street Refugees. A barbecue will follow for participants. Tickets are available at Bowen's Tavern or by calling Lori Cobb at 460-9529.
And, no matter the outcome of that engagement, some of the women are determined to take their fight to the streets of Boston next May.
The stakes are high.
The fight is personal.
The enemy is breast cancer.
According to Lori Cobb, 35, of Knox, the battle against breast cancer is being waged nationally through efforts like the annual Avon Foundation Walk for Breast Cancer and locally through events like the "Ride for the Racks Motorcycle Ride" being sponsored by the Holy Walkamoles Sept. 22 at Bowen's Tavern in Belfast.
Cobb is a member of the Holy Walkamoles, a midcoast women's walking group that meets regularly to support breast cancer awareness initiatives.
The 10 or so members meet regularly to talk about individual and group breast cancer projects they are supporting that benefit research, patient and family care and awareness of the disease.
This year, many of the members will cross the line from merely fundraising to also participating in the Avon Walk.
"Last year, I attended the walk to see this year's team captain Mandi Sawyer cross the finish line," said Cobb. "But I was so inspired to see these women walking and hear their stories. I found myself wanting to get involved in a more personal way."
Founded in 2003, the Avon Walk is a two-day, 39.3-mile fundraiser that has satellite legs in eight major U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco.
But, for Cobb and company to participate in the walk, team members must first raise a minimum of $1,800 each in pledges.
"We are always looking for new ways to raise funds," said Cobb, who conceived the 100-mile motorcycle event that is intended to be an annual event.
Not all the members will ride in the event but all will help in making it a success.
Jennifer Betzer, 36, of Waterville, will ride as one of the newest team members.
"I came on board in April and I'm pretty excited," said Betzer. "I used to ride on the back of my husband's bike but I just I love being in control of my own motorcycle. And, for me, that's the perfect example of what we're doing here -- taking control of our own journey while coming alongside others (for the ride). Every woman has her own story and her own struggles but this is something we can do together."
In going the distance for others on Sept. 22, Betzer and other bikers will stop at mile 39.3 to erect a mile marker advertising the Avon Walk next May, and hopefully, generating a little extra support for the cause.
Additional financial and visual support is being raised through sales of the group's 2013 commemorative T-shirts ($20) and tank tops ($17) designed, for the third year running, by team member Bobbi-Jo Macomber.
The black shirts are emblazoned with the team motto "Fight Like A Girl" centered over a pair of pink angel's wings on the front and a pink ribbon and team name on the back.
Cobb said the motto is intended to speak of a woman's inner strength and resolve to never quit despite sometimes difficult circumstances.
The shirts are available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/holywalkamoles and at the groups' fundraisers.
Cobb said a portion of the Avon Walk benefits local breast cancer work, including a $500,000 donation to Maine Medical Center last year.
"We also try to raise extra money for our personal projects," said Cobb. "Last year, we raised money to send two women, undergoing treatment for breast cancer, to a spa to be pampered for a day." Cobb recounted a list of breast cancer statistics -including that one in every eight women will get it and that someone will die from it every 13 minutes.
"We have 10 women on our team. So it makes you think," said Cobb. "While none of us has had breast cancer, each of us has had a family member or loved who has battled it; some of them surviving and others passing away. So, it's personal to us."
Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at: