Kathy Holick tucked a small green and white Sandy Hook rubber duck into her leather jacket. She soon hopped onto her husband Steve’s motorcycle as the two joined the fourth annual Firehouse Ride to support the Newtown Hook and Ladder Co. #1 in its effort to build a new firehouse.
This year’s event, which drew more than 100 motorcycles, and a larger than usual crowd for the pig roast and party that followed, was called The Ride To Remember, also benefiting the Sandy Hook Family Healing Fund.
Writing on the ride’s Facebook page fire company members stated: “We wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Firehouse Ride! We had a wonderful and successful day. We cannot thank you enough for all of your support!”
Firefighter Tim Hoeffel glanced across the rows of bikes parked at 71 South Main Street, The One Eyed Pig, where the ride started and the pig roast took place. “It’s bigger than it has been,” he said. Motorcycle riders, passengers, and guests out for some live entertainment and lunch on the sunny, early fall day.
Monsignor Robert Weiss also attended this year. Offering to bless the bikes and say a prayer for the riders out to support the fire company and the job that first responders do, he said, “I hope your presence here is affirmation of their hard work.” The ride and the fundraiser were about “making a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Bless these riders who are here today in good spirits.”
Riders soon pulled out of the lot and headed past the flagpole, into Brookfield, through Bridgewater, Roxbury, Woodbury, Southbury, then crossed the silver bridge and roared along Glen Road into Sandy Hook Center. As riders returned to the bar and restaurant after the extended 50-mile route, they enjoyed a pig roast and live entertainment with The Wagon Wheel Band: Tanya Parker, Mark Rudzinski, Casey Gorman, Benj LaFevre, and Joe Ballaro.
Stopping in at the fundraiser were town officials including First Selectman Pat Llodra, Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead, her husband and Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead, fire department members, and others.