Revved up to give at Frederick chopper event -- Gazette.Net


Six years ago, Angel Cregger suffered a severe heart attack that crippled the then 34-year-old woman's left ventricle.

Placed on a list for a heart transplant, the Walkersville resident continues to wait.

“You never know when [the call] is going to happen,” she said.

A Left Ventricular Assist Device, or LVAD, continues to do the work her heart will no longer do. The machine weighs about 10 pounds and is strapped to her back.

Cregger must carry packs of backup batteries if she leaves the house. When she sleeps, the now 41-year-old has to have the device plugged into the wall.

Unable to work, Cregger and her family received help from the Patty Pollatos Fund, a nonprofit organization that assists families in Maryland.

“Because of them, we have been able to keep our house,” she said.

To raise funds for Cregger, Rita's Italian Ice of Frederick hosted a Bike Night event on Sunday afternoon.

More than a dozen customized motorcycles were on hand and hundreds of people came out to see them in the Rita's parking area on West South Street in Frederick. Motor World also donated their parking lot to host around 25 classic cars on display at the event.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Lori Rovito, owner of Rita’s Italian Ice. “It’s a gorgeous day. Good music, great food and the community is out to support each other.”

The event, which netted $5,000, also benefited Aaron Miller, a Frederick County resident fighting leukemia who was unable to attend the event.

Helping others and giving to charities has long been a passion for Rovito.

Her daughter, Dena, was diagnosed with a malignant neuroblastoma on her neck months after her March 2004 birth. Surgery removed a majority of the tumor, and she did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.

Today, Dena is a healthy and cancer-free 8-year-old.

Rovito said her family now does everything it can to raise money for those in need.

“I'm in love with the families we chose,” Rovito said of Sunday’s event.

It was the third time the business has hosted the event this year, which donated all of the profits to the PPF.

Erik Legg, who served as disc jockey for the event, said he enjoyed “seeing people in the community come together to make a difference for Frederick County residents.”

Rita’s is closed for the winter season but reopened for the day for the event, which was initially scheduled when Hurricane Sandy plowed through the area in late October.

“I love all the support,” said Kim Smith, PPF vice president. “I’m glad all the bike [riders] all came out, and they are supporting the Patty Pollatos Fund."

A large draw to the fundraiser was the chance to see an original Paul Jr. Designs custom chopper up close. The bike was commissioned by One Call Concepts Inc. — a Hanover-based company that works to prevent underground utility damage — in order to raise awareness about its cause. The chopper is valued at more than $300,000.

Supervisor Jimmy Jennings said the chopper has traveled to 30 states. The bike had a steady stream of admirers on Sunday, who were photographing it with their phones or professional cameras.

Jennings said he enjoys meeting the crowds at the events he attends.

“You get to meet so many different people,” he said. “We felt like [the bike night] was a good cause."

As Cregger faced complications with her condition, she focused on wanting to live to see her son graduate from high school last May.

“That was my goal,” she said. “That was the most amazing moment of my life.”

Now, Cregger said she is focused on her new goal — getting the call for her heart transplant and living to see her son graduate from Frederick Community College.