Bristol Press – St. Joseph Polish Society raises over $21,000 for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center diabetic ward

BRISTOL – The St. Joseph Polish Society raised more than $21,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Diabetes Ward at this year’s Mel’s Run, making this a record year for the club.

The 16th annual Mel’s Run took place this August and saw the participation of 65 motorcyclists and 42 sponsors, including individual donors and local businesses. In addition to the motorcycle ride, the event included a barbecue dinner, live music and raffles at the club at 88 E. Main St. in Forestville.

Mel’s Run raised a total of $21,076 this year and has raised more than $175,000 since its inception.

“We had our best year ever,” said Richard Parent, organizer of the event.

Parent credited much of the successful fundraiser to club member Jerry Golarz and his dog, “The Rock Star,” who visited many local businesses to raise funds.

“They alone collected over $10,000 worth of checks,” Parent said. “They went to a couple of offices including 24/7 Bail Bonds who decided to match their original donation.”

Golarz said that while he’s had The Rock Star for six years, it feels like 60 years. He said that everyone falls in love with their dog when they stop by and pay them a visit.

The St. Joseph Polish Society also received an anonymous donation of $1,000 from a club member.

Parent thanked all of the donors who helped make Mel’s Run such a huge success, including several local spring and wire companies. He also thanked the club supporters who went in search of these donations, including Kristy Bilodeau and Mike Bergeron, whom he called an “inspiration”. Parent also expressed his appreciation for the members who cooked on the day of the event and the companies that donated food.

“A lot of effort goes into making this event happen,” he said.

Platinum sponsors for this year’s Mel’s Run included Jay Manafort, 24/7 Bail Bonds, Laflamme Drywall and Club Member Anonymous donor.

Parent said that the original goal of Mel’s Run was to raise $100,000 over 20 years. The St. Joseph Polish Society is now attempting to double down on its original goal.

Mel’s Run was established in memory of the late St. Joseph Polish Society club member Melvin Chesky.

For more information about the St. Joseph Polish Society, call 860-583-9604.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, November 18, 2022 1:30 pm. Updated: Friday, November 18, 2022 1:33 PM.