Florida man tracks down Ogdensburg nursing home resident to talk about his 1949 Harley Davidson
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 11:42 am

OGDENSBURG – RiverLedge Resident Eugene A. Jones was very surprised when he came outside to view the motorcycles at the United Helpers Ride for the Residents Motorcycle Poker Run and heard that somebody was looking for him, someone Jones had never met before.

John Harrington, who lives in Fort Meyers, Fla. and frequents St. Lawrence County, read an article about Jones and his 1949 Harley Davidson Model 61 in the newspaper.

“I was going to attend a different run that day,” said Harrington. “After reading about Eugene in the newspaper, I wanted to attend this ride so that I could meet him.”

The duo talked for a while about motorcycles, got their picture taken together and exchanged addresses. Harrington also brought with him the newspaper article about Jones and asked him to sign it, which Jones did.

“Eugene, would you like to go with me on the ride?” Harrington asked. “I have room.”

“I wish I could,” said Jones.

“Well maybe next year then,” said Harrington before departing.

The United Helpers Ride for the Residents Motorcycle Poker Run was a day filled with residents, drivers, riders and staff laughing, sharing stories and admiring the beautiful array of motorcycles.

Activities for the day included 50/50 raffles and prizes from many local area businesses. M. Tesmer and J. Carlo won the cottage rental with use of a boat on Black Lake for one week, donated by North Country Cottages & Campgrounds; Robin Compo won a 42" flat screen television, donated by Walmart and the Poker Run Committee; Bob Merrifield won a two-way bike communicator, donated by Moody Rivers Cycle; Gilliam Raynor won the Uncle Sam Boat Tour package with a Picnic Basket; Doug Bell won a motorcycle jacket; donated by Fun Unlimited; and Parris Fuller won a home security system; donated by Alltech Integrations Corp.

The ride started at the RiverLedge Campus in Ogdensburg and made stops at St. Regis Nursing Home in Massena where the activities staff received a bag filled with goodies for the residents, The United Helpers Maplewood Campus in Canton where hotdogs, chips, brownies and a non-alcoholic beverage where served for a $2.00 donation, Amvets Post 1997 in Heuvelton where chips were served and ended at Amvets Post 19 in Ogdensburg with a steak dinner by Contagious Catering. To ensure that everybody stayed hydrated during the ride, free non-alcoholic beverages were also handed out at the stops.

“Through the generosity and compassion of all those involved the Ride for the Residents Motorcycle Poker Run raised $5200 for the United Helpers residents’ activities fund,” said Mrs. Smithers. “The donations from the lunch served at Maplewood raised $270 which will be used toward the construction of a pavilion on the campus.”

Event sponsors were The Richville Furniture Store, Fox & Murray Funeral Home, North Country Cottages & Campgrounds, Alltech Integration Systems, J.D. Bertrand, LLC, Stewart’s Shops, Frary Medical Transport ~ Frary Funeral Home, Moody River Cycle, Howland Pump and Supply, Northwood Furniture, LaFlair’s Taxi, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union, Blevins Brothers, Gardner’s Flooring and Furniture, Wal-Mart, Uncle Sam Boat Tours, Duprey’s Trucking, Nina Denny Public Relations, Fun Unlimited, Nig’s Tavern, and the Poker Run Committee, Arne’s Custom Printing, Bill’s Tire Center, Buster’s Sports Bar, Casey’s Health Connections, Chapin’s Country Market, Dashnaw’s Pizzeria, Don’s Used Furniture & Variety Store, Four Seasons, Four Season’s Flea Market, G & L Enterprises/Cycle: ATV Parts & Service, Hebel Welding & Machine, High Maintenance Hair Studio, Jumbo’s Diner, Kinney Drugs (Gouverneur), Maple City Auto Sales, Inc., McAllister’s Liquor Store, Monroe Muffler/Brakes & Service, Mort Backus & Sons, Mrs. Beasley’s Liquor & Wine, Gillee’s Napa, Regan’s, Rishe’s Auto, Route 68 Sales & Service, Seaway Diner & Smokehouse, Tom & Karen Fournier, Tru-North Pizza, and Uncle Sam Boat Tours.

“This is the first time I have participated in this ride,” said Harrington. “Of all the rides I have participated in, this ride has been the most organized. The friendly and helpful staff made this an enjoyable day.”

Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Ride for the Residents Motorcycle Poker Run on Saturday, August 24, 2013.