This Sunday, a small army of pink-wigged motorcyclists will ride to raise money for the local Franciscan Breast Centers.
This is the eighth-annual Wigged Out Ride, a charity benefit supporting the Free Wig Salon at the Franciscan Breast Center in Federal Way and Gig Harbor. Dozens of riders typically turn out, wearing pink wigs and riding pink motorcycles, to raise money and support for people and families dealing with breast cancer.
Organizer and founder Susan Scanlon is a breast cancer survivor who started the ride with another woman who went through breast cancer at the age of 26.
“For us, it’s kind of like a celebration that we still ride that we’re still able to ride,” Scanlon said. “A lot of it is just honoring people, remembering people … and giving back to the community.”
Hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment, but the only wigs the women could find at the time left much to be desired. That’s why they decided to partner with the Franciscan Free Wig Salon, to which 100% of donations from the Wigged Out Ride support.
The rosy riders this year begin assembling at the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma, located at 2702 East D St., at 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.
Taking off at 10 a.m., the magenta mob crosses the Tacoma Narrows bridge and rides to Gig Harbor’s Uptown outdoor shopping mall, where awards will be delivered for best bike and best wig. Finally, they’ll ride up the Peninsula to Indian Motorcycle / Brothers Powersports of Bremerton for lunch.
The first group of riders are breast cancer survivors, Scanlon said. They’re followed by people whose lives have been touched by the disease.
Last year saw 70 motorcycles and about 100 participants, and Scanlon expects to “blow out those numbers” this Sunday because the weather forecast calls for sun.
The ride has raised more than $12,000 over the years so far, Scanlon said. The wigs at the Free Wig Salon cost about $65 each to make, she added.
“They’re not your grandmother’s wigs,” she said. “These are really nice wigs.”
Riders and passengers who want to join are encouraged to bring their own pink wig, and to make a $20 donation per person (or a donation of their choice.) Supporters can also donate via https://tinyurl.com/wiggedoutride.
If you don’t participate, you might still catch a glimpse of the carnation-colored crew roaring through south Puget Sound.
“Nothing that draws attention like bikers with hot pink wigs on,” Scanlon said. “It really is quite the sight to see.”