AUGUSTA -- On July 21, 2007, the Maine Elks Association (MEA) held its annual "Owie Box" motorcycle ride for children in the Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP). The event attracted 126 motorcycle enthusiasts, who raised a record setting total of $25,340, exceeding last year's record by over $4,000 dollars. The event raised money for MCCP and its "Owie Box" program. The "Owie Box" provides toys and other items for children who undergo painful procedures at the clinic.
The ride began at the Augusta Elks Lodge, and followed a route that took the riders through the scenic parts of central Maine and coastal Maine, before returning to the Augusta Elks Lodge. Upon returning, the riders were provided with a meal and live entertainment, donated by the Augusta Elks Lodge. On the trip the riders stopped at the Rockland and Waterville Elk Lodges for snacks and refreshments before continuing on.
The event began four years ago, with a modest group of 13 riders, who raised a total of $600 for the program, and over its four year history has raised over $75,000 dollars. Another ride is already being planned for next year, with the hope of having even more participation and raising more money for children with cancer.
Over the past 22 years, the Maine Elks Association has been a major supporter of the Maine Children's Cancer Program. During that time, the association has donated over $2,000,000 dollars to help children fight cancer. Last May, the association gave a check totaling $188,082 to the program. Thanks in part to the generosity of the Maine Elks, MCCP has been able to grow from a small general practice serving only 25-30 patients per year to over 70 patients per year. In addition, MCCP provides new programs such as a post therapy wellness clinic, neurooncology clinic, hemophilia clinic, and the stem cell transplant program.