Niles Burn Run motors on this weekend

Published 6:21 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A weekend full of activities is planned for the Niles Burn Run Saturday and Sunday in downtown Niles. Leader file photo

A weekend full of activities is planned for the Niles Burn Run Saturday and Sunday in downtown Niles. Leader file photo

Scott Roberts might be the man running this year’s Niles Burn Run, but the first-year president said he couldn’t do it without his dedicated board of directors and volunteers.

“I’d be lost without them,” said Roberts, who took over as president of the board of directors when Doug Myers retired last year after serving for 11 years.

Roberts takes the reigns as Niles Burn Run Inc. is hitting its stride. Last year, the nonprofit organization raised a record $20,000 for the Great Lakes Burn Camp, a place where young burn victims can go to heal, grow and support other burn survivors. More than $92,000 has been raised overall since 2001.

Most of the money is generated during the annual Niles Burn Run, a 50-mile motorcycle ride that begins in downtown Niles and runs through Berrien and Cass counties.

Roberts said he got involved with the Niles Burn Run in 2009 and joined the board in 2010. He became hooked when he helped dropped off the donation check at Great Lakes Burn Camp.

“That was it,” Roberts said. “When you go to the camp and you see those kids ride in on those fire trucks with the sirens blazing and all those smiles — it makes me tear up right now thinking about it. There isn’t a dry eye in the camp.”

It takes about $600 to send one kid to camp, which is located in Jackson, Mich. Jodi Curran, Niles Burn Run board member, said there are two camps a year, one in winter and one in summer. Around 100 kids attend each camp.

“Unfortunately over 50 percent of these kids have been burned because of abuse, not just an accidental fire,” Roberts said. “A lot of the kids … when they are too old to come to camp, they become counselors and help the other kids. It’s just a great place.”

This year’s Burn Run officially begins Saturday in downtown Niles, although there will be, for the first time, a biker meet-and-greet featuring live music at Massimo’s Backside Bar Friday evening.

Saturday will feature live music, a motorcycle show, motorcycle contests and more in downtown Niles. Prior to Sunday’s motorcycle ride, the Christian Motorcycle Association will be offering a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. and church service at 9 a.m. downtown by the main stage. All proceeds go toward Niles Burn Run donations for the Great Lakes Burn Camp.

The ride begins at noon. Motorcycles will line up on Main Street at the intersection of Main and Fifth streets facing east. The ride will then proceed to east toward M-60.

Officers from the Niles Police Department will escort the motorcycles on the 50-mile trip, which is expected to return sometime around 2 p.m. on Front Street. Riders will be treated to lunch upon return. Last year there were a record 525 riders, many with passengers.

Firefighters from various departments will help block the roads for the ride.

For those not riding, the band Everyday Losers will entertain with live music beginning at 1 p.m. on the main stage.

People can register for the ride Saturday or Sunday at the event.

For more information, visit or follow them on Facebook.

Niles Burn Run Board of Directors is made up of Jodi Curran, Tye Curran, Steve Adolph, Pam Kole, Melinda Michaels, Vice President Jenny Welch and Roberts.

Key volunteers include past board member Rachel Clark, treasurer Joyce Webster and committee chair Tim Mervine.

Roberts said Red Star Gas and Welding and Real Country 99.9 were the primary sponsors for this year’s run, donating at least $3,000.


Niles Burn Run

July 13-14

Downtown Niles


9 a.m. — Bike show registration begins/Poker Crawl begins

10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Real Country 99.9 live remote and cash prize machine

10:30 a.m. — Main Stage announcements

11 a.m. — Bike show registration closes

Noon — Bike show judging,

Noon-1:30 p.m. — Main Stage: Hey Annie

1 p.m. — Fire truck pull

1:30 p.m. — Main Stage: Bike Show winners announced

1:45-2:30 p.m. — BMX Bike Show by Skewed View

2:30 p.m. — Motorcycle games: Road Kill and Slow Putt

3-5 p.m. — Main Stage: Dickey James and The Blue Flames

6:15-7:45 p.m. — Main Stage: Duke Tumatoe and The Power Trio

8 p.m. — Main Stage: Beer Belly Contest; Fashion Show; Poker Crawl finals

8:30-10 p.m. — Duke Tumatoe and The Power Trio

10 p.m. — Event closed



9 a.m. — CMA pancake breakfast/church service

10 a.m. — Announcements

11:45 a.m. — National Anthem by Balos Family

Noon — Motorcycle ride begins

1 p.m. — Main Stage: Everyday Losers

2 p.m. — Ride returns

3:30 p.m. — Motorcycle games: Slow Putt, Ring Toss, Wienie Bite

4:30 p.m. — Main Stage: Biker Game winners announced

5 p.m. — Main Stage: Closing announcements