Bike ride to benefit Belfast man battling cancer

Posted Aug. 01, 2010, at 11:10 p.m.

The event is titled Bowenfest 2010 and it is a motorcycle run and benefit auction to help with medical expenses for 32-year-old Greg Bowen of Belfast, who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Dan Murphy and Sandy Merrifield are heading up the fundraiser, “with an army of friends and family helping out and, literally, coming out of the woodwork,” Merrifield told me.

Bowenfest 2010 begins with registration, coffee and doughnuts at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at Bowen’s Tavern, 132 Main St. in Belfast.

The bikers leave at 9 a.m. from the tavern for a round-trip ride of approximately 100 miles.

“We’re gong to hit Bucksport and Bangor and come back down through Winterport to Belfast,” Merrifield said.

At the family-owned Bowen’s Tavern, returning bikers and those already on hand will enjoy the music of Natty B of Belfast, “who plays a little bit of everything,” she said, and have the opportunity to participate in the auction and raffle.

The raffle includes items from more than 50 local businesses and range from gift certificates for restaurants, hotel stays and golf to a 50-50 raffle.

Greg, the son of Mike and Wendy Bowen, is a Belfast Area High School graduate, and the theme of the fundraiser is based on the tavern connection of “A Family Thing,” Merrifield said.

For people who know Greg and his family and want to help but might not be able to attend, Merrifield said donations can be made out to her and mailed to 1103 Littlefield Road, Brooks 04921.

“Or people can go to Bowen’s Tavern and purchase raffle tickets,” she said. “We have some amazing gifts that people are donating.”

She hopes, however, that many people will “come all day” to show their support for Greg and the family during this difficult time.

For those who would like more information, Merrifield said Greg has a Facebook page as does Bowen’s Tavern.

“Facebook has been amazing for networking,” she added.

“They are a wonderful family and very well-known in the community.”

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While your attention is focused on Belfast, I spoke recently with Patricia Estabrook, director of The Game Loft in that city.

In my June 19 column, I wrote of that young people’s organization and one of its current historical projects, “1968: Gone But Not Forgotten,” which entails interviewing people born between 1948 and 1952 who are willing to share their memories of that year, especially as it relates to the Vietnam conflict.

Estabrook told me the response from Vietnam veterans has been exceptional, and that she is very pleased with the way those interviews are going.

On behalf of everyone at The Game Loft, which offers socialization and academic enrichment experiences for young people 12-18, she thanks you for your assistance with this effort.

But while veterans have been quick to come forward and participate, Estabrook told me The Game Loft is still seeking people to interview who were opposed to the war.

“We really want to be able to explain both sides,” she said of the politics of that era, which so divided our country.

“We would like, very much, to hear from people who protested against the war,” she said in asking, once again, for adults of all persuasions to be part of this project.

If you were a war protester, or have other information you want to share about that time, call Ellen Marlow at The Game Loft, 338-6447, or e-mail thegameloft@spurwink.org.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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