Ride to Remember Jeff Coursen: a wife keeps her late husband's memory alive
I received a call from Beth Coursen, who is keeping her husband Jeff's memory and passion for helping others alive a year after his death in a motorcycle accident.
Beth, who lives in nearby Pawling, N.Y., is working with family and friends to put on the Ride to Remember Jeff Coursen.
The benefit event, which is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 12, will be a 100-mile motorcycle ride starting in Pawling and winding through Dover and Amenia, N.Y., into Sharon, then down to Kent and back to Pawling through Bull's Bridge.
The ride will be followed by a picnic with music donated by The Night Shade Band.
There will be no admission charge. However, donations will benefit a cause close to Jeff's heart -- the treatment of alcoholics and addicts through St. Christopher's Inn in Garrison, N.Y.
On the September night when he died, Jeff Coursen, 53, was on his way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for a group of young people he was sponsoring as they fought their addiction to alcohol and heroin.
Jeff was driving from his home on a rainy night along North Quaker Hill Road when a deer jumped in front of his 2001 Suzuki motorcycle. He was thrown from the motorcycle and died on the scene.
"My husband died doing two things he loved," Beth Coursen said. "He was on his way to help people, and he was riding his motorcycle."
The ride in his memory will be dedicated to "helping those on the road to recovery," a cause to which Jeff had devoted much of his life, Beth told me.
I was touched by Beth's continuing support of her husband's passion for helping others much as I had been moved when I wrote the story in September 2009 about Jeff's death.
Jeff's friends spoke of him then as a man of few words but whose words were always important.
He was the kind of guy "who made you smile just to be around him," Jeff's friend Paul Mallon told me.
"I've never known anyone as universally liked as Jeff," he related.
Here is the information on the event for anyone interested in taking part:
The Ride to Remember Jeff Coursen will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12, at South Street in Pawling.
A community picnic, put on by the Pawling Fire Department, will begin there at 1 p.m.
For more information or to register to ride, call Ed and Mary Mahaffey at The Annex Florist at 845-855-9612 or send an email to email@example.com.
Contact Susan Tuz at 860-355-7322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.