Event raises awareness of missing persons cases | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo submitted Pictured are participants during the 2019 Ride to Find ‘Em in Celoron. The event returns on Saturday after a two-year hiatus.

CELORON — After a two-year break, motorcycle racing “Roll to find them” returns on Saturday.

Hosted by Axemen New York Chapter 4, this year’s event kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron and features a scenic ride around Chautauqua County with several scheduled stops before concluding at Celoron RibFest.

Since 2013, the family of missing Warren, Pennsylvania man Damien Sharp has partnered with the Axemen, a professional motorcycle club of local firefighters whose goal is to promote brotherhood and give back to the communities in which they live. live and work, to raise funds and awareness of missing persons cases and the organizations looking for them.

“It’s hard to imagine all that’s going on in search and rescue, discovery and recovery efforts until, unfortunately, you haven’t been a part of it,” Damien’s family noted.

Ironically, they were close friends with Lori Ceci Bova’s family members. Damien’s mother recalled that when Bova was first reported missing in 1997, no one could figure out what was going on.

By a cruel twist of fate five years later, they find themselves in the same situation.

In May 2002, Damien was last seen in Warren, Pennsylvania. With no answers to the many questions surrounding his disappearance, his family, especially his grandmother, Shirley Allred, dedicated their lives to finding Damien and helping other families going through the same tragic fate. .

Although Shirley passed away in 2020, the family wanted her name to remain synonymous with their efforts to support missing persons cases.

Proceeds from this year’s motorcycle race will benefit the Shirley Allred-Damien Sharp Endowment for the Missing Fund, administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

The fund supports Community United Effort, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that serves as a bridge between authorities and family members of a missing person. The organization also quickly mobilizes professionally trained search and rescue volunteers across the United States. Community Foundation grants will be for missing persons cases with ties to Chautauqua County.

“Shirley spent the rest of her life searching for answers after Damien disappeared,” says Damien’s family. “Over the years she never stopped looking for him and never gave up hope that one day he would be brought home.”

The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation manages more than 700 endowment funds that support emerging community needs, charities, and local students pursuing higher education. At the end of 2021, the Foundation’s asset level was $142.1 million.

To support the Shirley Allred-Damian Sharp Endowment for the Departed, tax-deductible donations can be made by credit card by visiting crcfonline.org or by mailing a check to the Foundation’s office at 418 Spring Street in Jamestown.

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