Fourth Annual Gardner - Carelli Motorcycle Run Draws 800 Bikers
By David Flint

The tail end of the eight hundred bikers participating in the Fourth Annual Motorctycle Run, looking east on Route 43 in Stephentown. It took over 20 minutes for the procession to pass by. (David Flint photo)

More than 800 riders participated in the fourth annual 90 mile motorcycle run in memory of Ryan Gardner and Courtney Carelli, held Saturday, August 4. Leading the pack were Courtneys brother Colin Carelli and Ryans parents Neil and Susan Gardner and his brothers Kyle and Derrick, along with Derricks fiance Athene. The ride culminated as usual in a raucous pig roast event at the Stephentown Fire Department Pavilion on Grange Hall Road. According to organizer Brad Humphrey, there were over 2,000 people enjoying roast pork, burgers and dogs, soft drinks and beer, live music from three bands and very entertaining motorcycle games. Besides the roasted pigs, the crowd put away 1,000 ears of corn, 900 hamburgers and 700 hot dogs.

A New Game

A new motorcycle game was added this year, Humphrey said, called the Ring Toss in which a passenger armed with five bicycle tires strives to ring five successively higher poles - up to 20 feet high - spaced 15 feet apart. One rider succeeded in tossing his tires over four of the poles and was declared the winner.
Co-organizer Derrick Gardner said there were 190 raffle items donated from 49 businesses scattered throughout the counties of Rensselaer, Berkshire, Columbia, Albany, Bennington and Saratoga. Humphrey and Gardner expressed their gratitude to these companies and the many other companies and organizations that provided all kinds of goods and services to support the run and the roast. They also thanked the many volunteers who spent many hours seeing to it that everything went smoothly.

Massive 50/50 Raffle Pay Off

Humphrey reported that the 50/50 raffle was won by a gentleman from California who was just passing through and thought hed stop in to see what all the commotion was with so many bikers. He bought a raffle ticket and took home $1,080. This, Humphrey said, was about twice the payout of the previous 50/50 raffle.
The proceeds from the event go to the Courtney Carelli and Ryan Gardner Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund provides a scholarship program for high school students in the Berlin School District that encourages and enables eleventh and twelfth graders to take college courses while still in high school. Humphrey said that to date more than 80 students have taken advantage of this scholarship opportunity.



Third Annual Ryan Gardner - Courtney Carelli Scholarship Motorcycle Run 

Stephentown, NY: August 12, 2006
By Cycle Crossroads
Contributing Writer

December 1, 2006

When the Boyz from the End of The Trail in Stephentown, NY turn their attention from building custom motorcycles to building custom fundraisers there is no stopping them!
They did it again, the 3rd Annual Memorial Scholarship Motorcycle Run was another success and the $18,000 raised this time shows that this event is here to stay.

So we had to ask – “What is this scholarship?” We learned that this High School Scholarship Fund is for 11th and 12th grade Berlin High School (NY) kids that want to take college courses for college credit while still in high school. Since its conception in 2004, the fund raiser has given out over 89 Scholarships. It is a very unique scholarship and kids that may never have the chance or even thought of going to college can get the chance to check it out. Brad Humphrey (from the End of The Trail) has told us that because of it being publicized so much, administrators from two other high schools have inquired into how to develop the program at their schools.

The annual event is a 90 mile, three-state ride through NY, MA & VT. Starting at Gardner’s Diner (where breakfast is available) then ends at the Stephentown Volunteer Fireman Muster Field, where the fun, party, raffles, games, arm wrestling and music starts.

When asked “Why do you guys do it?” Brad replied “A couple of reasons, to keep alive the memory of two local kids: Ryan Gardner and Courtney Carelli, who died in a truck accident in 2004 and to help educate more kids since that was one of the last things Ryan and Courtney were doing, finishing college and starting a life.

Like past years, the party is where the fun is. There is the weenie bite, slow races and the burn-out pit. There was also two bands, five pigs, tons of other food and drink. Raffles were all over the place, over 200 items! People won all kinds of stuff ranging from restaurant gift certificates to motorcycle parts, paint jobs, leathers, tools, tattoos. The list goes on and on. But then there were the two big raffles, the Red Mini-Chopper and a Motorcycle Trailer. All donated stuff came from local and national businesses who wanted to help out. The donations were just incredible.

An additional event that they have every year is the Northeast National Arm Wrestling Tournament. This is a sanctioned event where wrestlers come from several states to compete for money and trophies. It’s also open to the public for anyone that wants to try to whip the well-practiced vein-bustin’ boys and girls! For those of you who know anything about arm wrestling – the tournament is sponsored by “Iron” Russ Darling – six-time World Arm Wrestling Champion. Rest assured, that tent draws a lot of attention

When asked about the future goals of this event, Brad replied “We definitely got plans!” First of all, the 1st year we raised over $22K, the 2nd year we raised over $30K. This year we raised over $18K, down a bit (only 450 bikes and 1500 people) but not a failure in any form of the word. We held it on the second Saturday in August this year, prior years we held it on the first Saturday. We quickly realized that there are too many other motorcycle related conflicts causing riders to get spread out with just too much cool stuff to do. So we have talked this over with the other event sponsors and we are going back to the first weekend in August. 

This year we had some special helpers. The administrator’s at the high school, where the scholarship is directed, has added this event to their 12th grade course curriculum. The kids taking the Government and Economics class are required to complete 35 hours of community service to pass the class. That means they now have an additional choice of community service activities. So let’s see, they can choose from stacking books in the library, washing fire trucks, mowing the lawn at the town hall OR WORK AT A MOTORCYCLE RUN. Needless to say – they flocked in to help out. They even showed up three months in advance to help out on the preparations. After that, what I personally would like to see is for them to build a bike in the school shop class and auction it off for more school scholarship money. Now that would be cool!

They are always looking for help or raffle items to be donated from individuals and area businesses. If you would like to donate raffle items or help putting this event together for 2007, you can contact Brad Humphrey at the End of The Trail, 518-733-6471, Rick Jones, 518-658-0187 or Gardner’s Diner, 518-733-6700. More information can be found with a visit to the website at www.PartsThatFitHD.com or email to quotes@PartsThatFitHD.com

Wanna’ raise money? Call a biker or call a couple of thousand of them!


Motorcycle Run For Ryan & Courtney Draws 600 Bikers

By Ryan Mosher

Brad Humphrey, along with Kyle, Derrick and Neil Gardner, lead over 600 motorcycles out of Gardner’s at the beginning of the Gardner-Carelli Motorcycle Run on Saturday, August 6. (Ryan Mosher photo)

The Second Annual Ryan and Courtney Memorial Motorcycle Run drew over 600 motorcycles to Stephentown on Saturday. The event raised $30,000 for the Ryan Gardner and Courtney Carelli Memorial Scholarship fund.
The run kicked off with registration at Gardner’s Coffee Shoppe at 9 am. At 11 am, the motorcycles began to pull out onto route 22. Ten minutes after Neil Gardner and Brad Humphrey led the ride out of the parking lot, the last bike pulled out onto the road.
The 90 mile ride ran from Stephentown through Williamstown, Bennington, then back through Petersburgh, Berlin and finished on Grange Hall Road in Stephentown. A party followed after the ride, attended by over 1,500 people. The fireman’s pavilion was filled with lots of food, beer and games for everyone. Bikers enjoyed a burnout pit and games like the weenie bite. There was also a live band as well as an open arm wrestling competition sponsored by a local six-time world arm wrestling champion, Ray Darling. The competition raised $700 for the scholarship fund.
Over 100 items were raffled off at the end of the party, including items such as a flat screen computer monitor, a GPS system, biker jackets, sweatshirts and a motorcycle helmet. The big raffle items of the day were the John Deere lawn tractor with a custom paint job and the motorcycle trailer. After all the items were raffled off, Humphrey’s auctioned off a stainless steel, water cut clock, made for this memorial run. The clock, one of only two made, brought in $210 for the scholarship fund.


The Legacy Of Courtney Carelli And Ryan Gardner

By David Flint The Carelli-Gardner Scholarship students at Berlin High School gather in the HVCC computer room to meet with the parents of Courtney Carelli and Ryan Gardner (Front row l-r) Abby Ingraham, Ian Osterlitz, Brianna Trumbull, Audrey Humphrey, Stephanie Wagar and Ashley Mossey (Back row l-r) Anthony and Rose Carelli, Felicia Burdick, Adam Griswold, Kelly Swart, Bruce Riccardi, Kala Graves, Diane Gentner, Kara Deiana, Nick Guilbeault, Susan and Neil Gardner. Missing from photograph are Scholarship students Caleb Vincent, Heather Lichty, Bridget Masterson and Evan Ross. (David Flint photo)

The First Annual Ryan & Courtney Memorial Motorcycle Run on August 7, 2004, raised in one day over $23,000. The run was a tribute to Ryan Gardner of Stephentown and Courtney Carelli of Grafton who died together in a tragic vehicle accident in Petersburgh in March 2004. Both were graduates of Berlin High School and students at Hudson Valley Community College.
Brad Humphrey in Stephentown and some of his associates felt that since Ryan and Courtney did not have a chance to “leave their mark” on life, it would be appropriate for their friends to do it for them. So they organized the motorcycle run with associated events to raise funds for a scholarship to cover the costs for 11th and 12th graders at Berlin High School who wish to take college courses at HVCC while still in high school. The cost of the college credits is partially funded by the State, but in the past some students have not been able to participate because of the remaining cost. The scholarship now covers that for qualified students.
To date 18 students have taken advantage of the scholarship funds. Some are enrolled in Distance Learning courses in which they participate interactively via the Internet in college courses at HVCC. These courses include Psychology, Sociology and Calculus. Others take part in the College In The High School program. These courses are taught at the Berlin High School by Berlin teachers who have met the requirements to become Adjunct Professors at HVCC. These courses include Interpretation of American History taught by Kurt Gable, Autocad Drafting taught by Allen Goodrich, Introduction to Stained Glass Techniques taught by Jacqueline Elacqua and Spanish 100 taught by Karelia Balazs.
On Monday, May 23, Courtney’s parents Anthony and Rosemarie Carelli and the parents of Ryan, Neil and Susan Gardner, met with the students in the HVCC computer room at Berlin High School to applaud and encourage them and say thanks to Brad Humphrey and the others whose efforts of love brought this about.
Guidance Counselor Bob Lynn said he knows a program is working well when he gets no complaints from the students. This has been the case with the Distance Learning and College In The High School programs and the scholarship funding of them.
Brad and friends have already scheduled the Second Annual Ryan & Courtney Memorial Motorcycle Run for August 6. The funds raised will further finance the Berlin HS Scholarship program. If successful, the money raised this year will insure that the Scholarship Program will be fully funded so that all future scholarships will use only the interest from the endowment and the principal will never have to be touched.
The event is not intended for motorcyclists only. Anyone may attend to enjoy the day, the food, beverages and music, win raffles and watch the motorcycle games.
The starting point is Gardeners Ice Cream Shoppe in Stephentown. The riders will leave at 11 am for a 90 mile three-state ride. They will ride past the cemetery to pass off two bundles of flowers for the families of Ryan and Courtney, then travel east on Rt. 43, going through Williamstown and North Adams up into Vermont, over Woodford Mountain then through Bennington, stopping at the Mobile Station on Rt. 7 and 22 for gas. From there they will head south on Rt. 22 back to Stephentown ending up at the SVFD Pavilion on Grange Hall Road.
At the Pavilion there will be live music, a pig roast, hamburgers, hot dogs, beverages, prize raffles, a 50/50 raffle and the highlight, the Motorcycle Games, including the Wienie Bite, Slow Races and the Barrel Roll. “Iron” Ray Darling, 6-time World Arm Wrestling Champion, will also be there with his annual Northeast Arm Wrestling Contest, the proceeds from which will also benefit the Scholarship Program. The Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department has donated the Pavilion for the day.
The donation is $20 and with that you get in the ride, food, music and a shot at the big raffles. So far this year, the raffles include a brand new John Deere Riding Mower, a motorcycle trailer and chain saw carved art.
If you or your business would like to donate items, help out putting this event together or purchase tickets you can contact Brad Humphrey at The End of The Trail, 518-733-6471. For more information visit the website www.PartsThatFitHD.com. Here you will find up to date information, purchase tickets on-line and watch the growing raffle item list.



Huge Support For Two Families
By David Flint
Scholarship Created In Memory Of Courtney Carelli And Ryan Gardner

In an impressive show of community support for two bereaved families, 285 motorcycle riders took off from Gardner’s Ice Cream Shoppe Saturday. The first annual Scholarship Motorcycle Run in memory of Ryan Gardner and Courtney Carelli, two young people from Stephentown and Grafton killed in a tragic accident on March 19, got under way about 11:15 am, heading north on Route 22. The riders left carnations with family members at the Stephentown Community Cemetery on Cemetery Hill Road, then continued on to Route 43 and east to Williamstown. From there they headed over to North Adams, up to Vermont on Route 8 and west on Route 9 to Bennington and back into New York on Route 7, stopping at the Hoosick Mobil station for gas and refreshments. Continuing on to Route 22, they headed south back to Stephentown, completing the 90 mile circuit at the Fire House Pavilion and Muster Field on Grange Hall Road. Among the motorcycle riders were Ryan’s father Neil Gardner and Courtney’s father Anthony Carelli, both of whom bought new bikes for the run. Gardner who had not owned a cycle for many years, was “grinning ear to ear the whole time” on the ride, according to Pat Negus.

Brad Humphrey, organizer of the event, said he was “totally amazed” at how well it went. Humphrey estimated on Monday that about $21,000 in ticket sales and donations had already been counted, and more was still to come. He expected it to come close to their goal of $30,000 to get the fund started in its first year. The scholarship will enable 11th and 12th graders in Berlin High School to attend local colleges while still in high school. The program is partially state funded but not all qualified students have been able to participate because of extra costs involved. Humphrey was elated at the support of the community for this event. “The way the people here came together,” he said, “It couldn’t happen in a big city.” Humphrey said Courtney’s mother Rose had the idea for the scholarship and Humphrey, who runs the End Of The Trail cycle shop in Stephentown, suggested the bike run as a way to make it happen. Both families agreed to it and planning started at the end of March.

About 1,000 people attended the party at the Fire Pavilion after the run. Three pigs were roasted, two donated by Hilltown Pork in Canaan and one by Kreutziger Custom Butchering in Nassau. The Leabs of Ioka Farm brought part of a roasted ox. Neil Gardner provided a whole cow’s worth of ground beef. Larry Eckhardt delivered 1,000 ears of corn already shucked. Mario’s Restaurant and Dave’s Market provided the rolls, and Price Chopper donated a large number of gift certificates for food and other necessary items. Humphrey said the hungry bikers and other guests did a good job of devouring most of the food.

Biker games at the party included “Slow Races” of 100 feet in which the last person to cross the line without setting foot on the ground wins. Then there was something called a “Weenie Bite” where a passenger standing on the back of a bike must bite off a piece of a mustard spread weenie hanging from an overhead bridge. The rider must not set foot on the ground and the biggest bite wins.

Two rock bands from Pittsfield provided the music. Up Trodden played outside and Mama’s Kitchen played inside the pavilion.

The major raffle prizes were: a Suzuki 4-wheeler ATV donated by Robert Blessen, won by Rick Jones of Stephentown; a season ski pass donated by Jiminy Peak, won by Chuck Kruger; Dog Guard fencing donated by David Spain; a three-foot tall chainsaw carved eagle sculpture donated by Living Tree Sculpture of Nassau, won by David Spain; a Dell All-in-One Printer donated by Mike Collins of iTG in East Greenbush, won by Ryan VanderVoort of Waterford; and three NASCAR tickets to New Hampshire International Speedway in Louden, NH donated by Danny Potter of New Lebanon.. The 50/50 raffle collected $1,050 and paid out $525 Humphrey said there were many, many people involved in the planning and organization of the bike run, the pig roast party and the scholarship fund. Among those who played leading roles were Pat Negus and his wife Bonny and son Pat of Stephentown, Rick Jones of New Lebanon, Jason Guilbeault and his mother Vicky and Mary Ann Humphrey of Stephentown.

Humphrey expressed thanks to the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department for granting use of the Fire Pavilion, its kitchen and facilities and for providing traffic control on the run, to all those who donated prizes for the raffle and to all those who contributed and helped out in any way. He’s looking forward to next year. He says the group’s organizational skills have been finely honed now, but they will start planning the event earlier. He expects also to have more biker games at the party next year.






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