It’s been a good run, but Sandy Corley Memorial event is ending

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 17:47:07-05

MUSKEGON, Mich.  —  After 30 years and $2.2 million raised for charity, the annual Sandy Corley Memorial Run has come to an end.

Mercy Health Muskegon says the charity run’s board has determined the July 2018 event will stand as its last. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the organizers have decided to no longer have the SCMR,” said Rick Corley, owner of Sandy’s Harley-Davidson – and son of the run’s namesake.

“The decision was tough, but we felt it best to stop on a positive note with 30 years of success”.

The Sandy Corley Memorial Run has been one of the largest and most successful events of its kind in Michigan. The $2.2 million raised over the years has supported cancer care and the Mercy Health Johnson Family Cancer Center. The seed was planted in 1989, when Barb VanBogelen and the Fremont Harley Owners decided to launch a ride to honor Sandy Corley. It began with 52 riders, but eventually mushroomed into a large-scale event with several thousand attended, and riders coming from 20 states and Canada in 2018.

Organizers say a declining number of volunteers and an anticipated increase in operating costs spurred the decision to end the Memorial Run.

Says Corley in a news release, “The entire Corley Family would like to thank everyone for the three decades of success. This event was a great tribute to our father. Our family wishes to thank our Mercy Health family and every volunteer, board member, sponsor, media partner and individual who helped honor our father’s legacy and make a difference to patients at the Johnson Family Cancer Center.”

Mercy Health says proceeds have helped in “countless ways” over the years, and most recently helped the health system procure a linear accelerator, a CT scanner and a passenger van that transports patients to the cancer center for daily treatment. “Proceeds will continue to support the patient-care fund for patients in need, as well as the recently launched early detection lung-cancer screening program.

“As a not-for-profit health care ministry, it has been our honor to be the recipients of the extraordinary dedication and countless hours invested by everyone involved,” said Mercy Health Muskegon President Gary Allore. “We are grateful for the unforgettable mark left by the SCMR on the Johnson Family Cancer Center, our patients and our community.”

The SCMR also held a military ceremony the Saturday night of the event, and organizers paid respect to area veterans and members of the Armed Forces.

For images from and more history of the Sandy Corley Memorial Run, visit its website.