BY SR DEENAN HUBBARD
Aaah—Weee! Wow, the Nun Run again! The 18th one in fact…can you imagine? We had 300 bikers register. I counted 200+ ride out the front gate.
Everyone is saying it was great fun. Some new experiences were had. Some past experiences were shared. Some early experiences were retold with smiles to new folks who “never heard that before.” Personal instructions were given to Sister Bikers by their Escorts. Some Sister Bikers even tried their bikes on for size in preparation for the Ride. Some Sister Riders, even though they had the experiences of riding before, got a new experience this time of riding in a side car or on a trike….I think we made some converts there. A secret team of two Sisters surveyed the bikes and chose the Nun Choice Award, who received a trophy to memorialize the event. Lots and lots of pictures were taken and will probably be shared among the partakers.
An important part of the Nun Run was putting one’s raffle tickets in the appropriate bin for the item you desired. Some Riders were observed walking about carrying strings and strings of raffle tickets purchased in addition to the one granted at registration. Many of the gifts resulting from the raffle tickets were yummy…restaurant gift cards; others were happy makers…wine gift cards. One raffle gift was for a handcrafted afghan donated by Sister Ernestine. That item fetched scores of purchased raffle tickets.
Part of the entertainment was presented by the East End Mexican Folklorico Dancers. The little muchachos and muchachas were precious and so beautifully costumed and danced professionally. The Adult Lady Dancers were also beautiful. So many people, especially the ladies watching, around me were all commenting on how beautiful they were and whispers of “where can I get a dress like that” were quietly expressed.
A unique part of the entertainment was a scooter race between two big dignitaries: Bishop Italo Dell’Oro, Auxillary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese here and Jim McIngvale, aka “Mattress Mack”. Mattress Mack is a prominent businessman and long-time friend of the Nun Run who acts as MC for the morning’s proceedings. Bishop and Mattress Mack were challenged to the scooter race. Nun Run participants bet on who would win by placing money in Bishop or Mattress Mack’s helmet. There was exuberant cheering to encourage them on and…in the end, Bishop Italo won!
After a few words by Mr. Torres, Director of the CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare, thanking people for their participation in the Nun Run and what their donations were supporting, Jeff Tippit, President of the Blue Knights gave his safety talk. Chaplain Harry Stafford prayed for the group and then it was “kick-stands up”! Biker Escorts and Sister Bikers quickly went to their bikes, donned jackets, gloves and sun glasses, helmets, mounted their bikes and started their engines. Bishop Italo took his place at the Blessing Station and began blessing the bikers as they rolled past him. The Blue Knights led. I counted 200+ bikers going out the Villa front gate. We went down the highways and by-ways to Top Water Grill, San Leon, Texas. Multiple biker volunteers helped the bikers park their bikes safely and then we went to eat.
The food, shrimp, fish, chicken, slaw and potato salad were fabulous! Sr Rosanne and Danielle exchanged raffle tickets for won prizes and trophies were given for the oldest rider (Sr. Elisabeth Therese got honorable mention for being over 90, but Sr Rosanne didn’t reveal her immediate age). Other trophies were given for the youngest rider, the one who rode from the furthest and the one who came with the most members of their biker club.
Not only is the Nun Run great fun, but it really contributes to the health of so many children in need in the area. The Bikers go away with positive images of what we do as Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and they have satisfaction in knowing they helped.