Sept. 19 will be an exciting day in southern Putnam and northern Owen counties as the Annual Granny Ride takes off from the Eagles Lodge in Greencastle at noon.
Dedicated to raising money for cancer patients who need assistance, the motorcycle ride began in 2001 after the death of Judy "Granny" Rubeck from lung cancer.
"While dealing with the fact that our loved one was terminally ill, we discovered first handed the hardship of an adult getting financial assistance from any where or anyone. Judy lost her life before she was approved for disability," said family members. "Her husband made too much money to qualify for state assistance, and any health insurance she had was 'jacked up' in price so that she could not afford to keep it." Her husband nearly went bankrupt and is still struggling to recover from all the medical bills.
Granny was born Dec. 30, 1944. She was a daughter to a dairy farmer in Confluence Penn., the youngest of six children. She moved to Indiana in 1967 where she raised her four children, and later married Jerry Rubeck of Poland.
In October 2001 she lost her life to lung cancer. Granny was an active member of the community. She was a Poland Volunteer Firefighter for approximately 15 years, and was involved with Wayne Township Fire Department for a few years.
In the spring of 1989 she became an EMT and went to work for Operation Life.
"She loved her job as an EMT and was devastated when medical complications restricted her to an office job," the organization's Web site said. "This minor set back did not hold her back, for she was the one who designed the first computer billing system for OL that remained in use until October 2002."
At noon riders will begin the four- to five-hour ride. There will be a dinner following the ride that includes pulled pork, baked beans, slaw and chips. Non-riders are welcome to dine for a donation of $5 per plate.
There is overnight camping available for those who want to pitch a tent. Cost to ride is $15 per person or $25 for two. Fresh biscuits and gravy donated by Mama Nunz will be available for $2. A dedication and blessing of the bikes will take place at 10:30 a.m., and riders will head out with the last biker out at noon.
Colored balloons representing the different types of cancer will be available for $1 prior to a balloon release.
The Granny Ride is an ongoing tribute to the passionate love Granny had for any person whose life she may have touched. The group's purpose is to raise money to help adults that have cancer.
Those receiving funds from past rides include Becky Taylor in 2008 and Lynna Walker in 2007. Both are from Cloverdale and are still fighting their battles.
The 2006 recipient was Malinda Wood, Cunot. She too is still battling her disease.
In 2005 Ron St. John, Cunot received funds. He helped start the Granny Ride. He left the hospital to join the ride in 2005 and ended up with pneumonia and lost his life shortly after.
Rodger Pedigo, Cunot was the 2004 recipient. He too has passed away.
In 2003 and 2002 the American Cancer Society received 100 percent of the funds. Now the organization splits proceeds between families and The Wellness Community of Indianapolis that provides support and education at no cost to cancer patients and their families.
The Granny Ride accepts letters about adults with cancer, going through treatment, and in need of financial help. To qualify, potential recipients must not have received assistance through state or federal agencies.
To apply, potential recipients must tell their stories in 500 words or less and include their name, address and phone number. All claims and letters received will be reviewed and verified by Granny Ride Members. Chosen recipients must sign a release form for future promotions of The Granny Ride.
After reviewing all letters submitted, Granny Ride members will choose a 2009 recipient.