- Visit www.CruiseForCancer.org for more information.*
Now in its fourth year, the 'Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer' again was a huge success, this year drawing more riders than ever before, as nearly 1,000 bikers and Packers players and staff members hit the pavement for a worthy cause.
Parins, the Packers' Senior Security Advisor and a motorcycle enthusiast from an early age, coordinated the first annual 'Cruise' just 16 months after being diagnosed with cancer in February, 2003. The 120-mile motorcycle ride raises thousands of dollars for various cancer-related organizations, many of which he encountered during his treatment at St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay. This year's total topped the $100,000 mark.
"I'm very, very pleased with the outcome of this year's event," Parins said. "It started with the perfect weather and also the fact that we had a safe ride. That's a real measurement to the ride itself and I think, from the comments I've been getting, that everyone enjoyed it."
This year, Parins invited three close friends who are also cancer patients -- Cindy Keckhaver Anderson, Todd Dessell, a co-worker with the Packers, and Ricky Sandoval, director of security for the Detroit Lions -- to be his guests of honor.
"The invaluable experience of this event and something that I can't put a cost or a gain on is the three families that we were able to honor during this ride," Parins said. "I thought that was awesome. That makes the whole ride for me. All three of those families have just been through a lot of strain and pressure dealing with cancer in the last year."
The riders cruised from Lambeau Field to Vandervest Harley-Davidson in Peshtigo, Wis., where the first of two auctions was held. The group then returned to Lambeau Field for a 'tailgate party' which included food, beverages and live music. A second live auction, which featured a number of great items including an autographed Packers helmet with the names of the Lombardi offensive backfield -- Bart Starr, Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor -- wrapped up the event.
Also available for bid were Brett Favre autographed items, a Geoff Jenkins autographed jersey and a helicopter ride for three people. A raffle featuring a 1992 Harley Davidson Fat Boy was offered as well.
"People were really pleased with the organization of the ride, which I have to contribute to my committee and to everyone at the Green Bay Packers that have been so wonderful in helping me host this event the last four years," Parins said. "So many people came up to me to tell me about a brother, a sister or a neighbor. Cancer just touches so many lives and it seems like a lot of people that were involved in the ride were there because they had been touched with cancer and they wanted to help out. And they definitely helped out."
Among the Packers in attendance were general manager Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy, defensive linemen Colin Cole, Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman, offensive lineman Jason Spitz and linebacker A.J. Hawk, who led riders throughout the route in a pace car. Additionally, several Packers scouts and other personnel volunteered their time to help make the day a huge success.