HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV)-After beating cancer, Jerry Parins wanted to help those who were still battling the disease.
So he created the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer an event that started with a few riders and generated about 20 thousand dollars in its first year and has only gotten bigger since.
“Either them or somebody that means a lot to them in their lives is going to be touched by cancer,” says Parins.
Nearly 500 people hopped on their motorcycles to participate in the 18th year of this event. Police and fire departments led the parade of motorcycles on an hour-long ride through Green Bay. Parins says he can’t ride a motorcycle anymore so he takes a ride in the front of the parade in one of the firetrucks.
Parins was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. He worked for the Green Bay Police Department and worked security for the Green Bay Packers.
People participate in this event for all kinds of reasons.
“I have a fellow fireman from Green Bay who is battling cancer right now and anything we can do to support families like his and make an impact, (we’ll do)” says Garrett Wenzel.
Organizers say this is a fun event that raises money and awareness for a disease that touches nearly everybody in some way.
The event includes food, live music, and auctions and raffles. The event usually raises around $150,000 each year for cancer-related organizations in the area. The money is an important part of the event, but so is the cameraderie.
“The support system when you’re dealing with cancer is huge,” says Parins.
Organizers haven’t finished tallying the amount of money they’ve raised this year, but expect it to be in the $150,000 range.