Fundraisers, raffles, donations and benefits are all too common words in our WNY vocabulary. As a community, these words have come to represent the emotion of its members with faith, resilience, determination and blessings.

Cancer touches everyone, closer and closer and every day. Ideally, there would be a world without illness, but we haven’t reached that point.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute is here in our WNY community doing what they can to help families with their battles against Cancer related illness.

The Reid family and the GHD family are fully aware of these struggles.  In 2006, Tony, late owner of Gowanda Harley-Davidson (GHD), was diagnosed with AILD (Angiommunoblastic Lymphadenopathy with Dysproteinanmia), a rare T-cell Lymphoma.  He had accepted this disease and was ready to battle it with courage, strength and faith.  Over the next three years, he was in and out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute receiving chemo treatments, making new friends and still talking motorcycles with the staff.

By 2008, Tony was in need of a bone marrow transplant and with the help of his family, friends and community, a match was found. In June 2009, Tony received his bone marrow transplant.  Every day was a challenge for him, but on July 3, 2009, Tony lost his battle.  His final journey…”Keep The Faith.”

It is time again for the Tony Reid Memorial Mileage Challenge Reception.  GHD and the Reid Family hold an annual fundraiser in their brother Tony’s memory.

Tony’s memory is that of a guy who loved his family, Harley-Davidsons, riding, live music and good times. This year, the format of the fundraiser reception event has changed to reflect those memories.  Please join us at the Gowanda American Legion Post #409 on Oct. 17, 2015 at 5 p.m. for an exciting evening.

There will be basket raffles from great local businesses, a silent auction and dinner by Chef’s Restaurant (only $8 per person!). Silent Auction items include a Box Seat Experience to a Buffalo Sabres Game.  A special treat this year is live music by some Gowanda locals who knew Tony.

JB Martin Smoking Dog Band will perform from 7 to  9 p.m. and will offer to share the stage with some old friends and family of Tony’s, “like the old days”.

As always, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to Roswell Park Cancer Institute, including the money collected from the dinner provided by Chef’s.  Chef’s Restaurant has generously donated their time and food for all five past events.

Gowanda Harley-Davidson is accepting donations of gift baskets or silent auction items.  If you would like to make a monetary donation, you can drop it off or mail it to the dealership made payable to “Roswell Park Alliance Foundation” or wait until the event where Roswell Representatives will be present.  This event helps to raise awareness and funds for the battle against cancer and the belief that someday we can be educated enough to have a world without cancer.

Please mark your calendars for this worthy cause and join in to celebrate the life we have. “Keep the Faith.”