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Motorcycle ride will help pay medical, funeral bills

Friends of Mike Hogan have organized a third fundraiser in memory of the Thomson man.

Hogan, 43, died May 26 at University Hospital in Augusta after a short battle with liver cancer.

Friends have organized a fundraising motorcycle ride Saturday. Kickstands go up at 9 a.m. at H&H Signs, 225 W. Hill St. The ride ends at Hogie Joe's, the Railroad Street restaurant that still reflects Hogan's name.

"It started out as a benefit and turned into a memorial," said Jon Register, an organizer of the event. "We were actually hoping it would be benefit ride and he would get better, but things just didn't work out."

After setting plans for the ride in motion, Register was injured in a motorcycle accident.

"I was coming home from work at 4:30 in the morning and I hit a deer," he said. "It tore up my bike and hurt my wrist." He said he would have surgery. That means he will have to catch a ride in the tag-along vehicle in the bike ride.

Scott Williams, a cousin of Hogan's, said Register continued working on the benefit even after the accident. "If you hit a deer with a motorcycle hard enough to kill it, that's pretty bad," Williams said.

Williams said the first two fundraisers also helped defray Hogan's medical and funeral expenses. The chicken dinner and golf outing were held June 4.

"We had great success on both," Williams said. "We thank everybody for all their help and contributions and participation."

Contributions also can be made through a fund set up at Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.

"I grew up with Mike," Register told The McDuffie Mirror. He said he and Hogan went to middle school and high school together, and graduated with the Thomson High School Class of 1985. They also went deep-sea fishing together, off Panama City, Fla.

Register's wife, Rosemary, will ride a motorcycle during the 135-mile ride Saturday to McCormick, S.C., and back. Rosemary Register once was office manager at Hogan's workplace. "I had four bypasses; I'm at home," she said. Concerning her time on the job with Hogan, she said, "I don't think I ever saw him without him smiling."

She said organizers hope the ride attracts 100 or more participants at $15 per bike.

The ride will pause for a gas, bathroom and water break at the 60-mile mark. Organizers also plan a 50/50 drawing after the race. They are selling raffle tickets. Gift certificates and other prizes have been donated by Augusta Harley-Davidson, Old Navy in Augusta, Fulbright Heating & Air Conditioning in Thomson, Hogie Joe's, Miss Jane's Restaurant in Warrenton, and other businesses.

Web posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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