Sandy Corley Memorial Run has ‘run its course.’

January 5, 2019

Rick and Karen Corley stand next to the Harley raffled off for the HOG auction during the 2015 Sandy Corley Memorial Run. A Harley was given away each year to a lucky raffle winner.
OCP file photo.

Sandy Corley Memorial Run has ‘run its course.’

#SandyCorleyMemorialRun

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

ROTHBURY – After 30 years and $2.2 million raised for cancer treatment, the annual Sandy Corley Memorial Run held at the Double JJ Resort “will be riding off into the sunset,” states the event’s web site.

The July 2018 event was the final one.

“The SCMR was launched after the death of Sandy Corley, founder of Sandy’s Harley-Davidson Sport Center in Fremont, in order to honor Sandy and benefit cancer patients in West Michigan,” states the web site.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the organizers have decided to no longer have the SCMR,” said Rick Corley, owner of Sandy’s Harley-Davidson and son of the run’s namesake. “The decision was tough, but we felt it best to stop on a positive note with 30 years of success. The SCMR has been one of the largest events of its kind in Michigan with a cumulative 30-year donation totaling almost $2.2 million to support cancer care and the Mercy Health Johnson Family Cancer Center.”

In 1989, Barb VanBogelen and the Fremont Harley owners wanted to have a ride to honor Sandy Corley, which was the beginning of the Sandy Corley Memorial Run. The event started with 52 riders, and it grew to several thousand.

“Although the 2018 event drew riders from 20 states and Canada, the decision to end is attributed to the anticipated increase in operating costs and a declining number of volunteers, potentially influencing the effectiveness of the event’s success as a fundraiser,” the web site states.

– Sandy Corley Memorial Run web site photo

“Like so many things, the Sandy Corley Memorial Run has run its course,” said Corley. “The entire Corley family would like to thank everyone for the three decades of success. This event was a great tribute to our father. Our family wishes to thank our Mercy Health family and every volunteer, board member, sponsor, media partner and individual who helped honor our father’s legacy and make a difference to patients at the Johnson Family Cancer Center.”

“Over the past 30 years, proceeds from the SCMR have helped in countless ways and most recently helped Mercy Health procure a linear accelerator, a CT scanner, and a passenger van that transports patients to the cancer center for treatment daily. Proceeds will continue to support the patient-care fund for patients in need, as well as the recently launched early detection lung-cancer screening program.”

“As a not-for-profit health care ministry, it has been our honor to be

Sandy Corley Memorial Run web site photo.

the recipients of the extraordinary dedication and countless hours invested by everyone involved,” said Mercy Health Muskegon President Gary Allore. “We are grateful for the unforgettable mark left by the SCMR on the Johnson Family Cancer Center, our patients and our community.”

“In addition to the fundraising, the strong camaraderie built within the West Michigan biker community, and beyond, has been another point of pride for the run’s organizers,” states the web site. “Additionally, to pay respect to area veterans and members of the armed forces, each year, the SCMR held a military ceremony the Saturday night of the event.”

“The event not only helped cancer patients, but was also a tribute to our military,” said Corley. “The money raised at the beer tent was shared with the Forgotten Eagles of Michigan to help the needs of people in the military.”

A core group of volunteers devoted their time each year for three decades.

Several of the performing bands returned to the event for multiple visits over the years. “Jackyl, Skid Row, Wayland and Blue Oyster Cult took to the stage multiple times and forged friendships with the organizers and attendees,” the web site states.

“The SCMR has always had a family feeling, as the event originated from the Corley family’s personal loss.”

“While the run itself is winding down, the sense of family and camaraderie amongst the volunteers and wider biker community will not likely fade any time soon,” said Corley. “We are tremendously grateful for the support of our entire biker family.”

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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