Before Arthur Szymanski’s life was cut short by cancer in 2014, one of his favorite activities was to take his motorcycle for a ride from his hometown of Bayville through the pine barrens, and back.
For the fourth year in a row, Szymanski’s family will honor his memory and raise funds for local groups that help families dealing with cancer and its aftermath with a charity motorcycle ride along his favorite route, ending with an after-party and gift auction at the Captain’s Inn in Forked River this Sunday.
“We didn’t want people to forget my dad, and this was a good way to honor his memory,” said Kaitlyn Szymanski, 30, Arthur Szymanski’s daughter.
For the past several years, the charity ride and gift auction has grown each time, last year raising over $10,000 for three charities: Ocean of Love, which helps the families of children with cancer; RWJ Barnabas Hospice, which provides bereavement groups and other services; and David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation, based in Ocean County, which provides financial assistance to local families dealing with a cancer fight.
The motorcycle ride not only honors the memory of what Arthur Szymanski did in his free time, but also his kind heart. Each year, Ocean of Love partners with a local radio station, with a DJ camping out on top of a billboard until a donation goal is reached.
“Ocean of Love was my dad’s favorite charity,” Kaitlyn Szymanski said. “It was my dad’s favorite thing to do – go there on their last day and give a check. We knew it was important to my dad, so we wanted to keep that going.”
Szymanski also loved helping children, and would participate himself in the annual Toy Run event as well as many other charity rides.
Some funds also go to RWJ Barnabas Hospice, which helped the Szymanski family deal with their loss.
“Barnabas Hospice helped us a lot, my mom particularly,” Kaitlyn Szymanski said. “The bereavement group really helped her, and they do amazing things.”
The auction, held outdoors after the ride, will feature gift cards from local restaurants, salon gift baskets, clothing and art work, among other items.
Szymanski’s sons’ band, Sneak Attack, will perform at the after-party.
For those interested in attending:
- Visit the event’s Facebook Page for more information.
- Registration for all riders begins at Central Regional High School, Bayville, at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. Motorcycles will depart at 12 noon. Cost is $15 per rider/car and $25 with a tee shirt and bracelet.
- The after party/auction runs 2-6 p.m. at the Captain’s Inn in Forked River. Cost is $25 and includes commemorative bracelet, hot and cold buffet, live music and more.