MILTON — About 500 area residents and police officers are planning to ride motorcycles Sept. 16 to help the family of a local officer who was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The fundraiser will benefit Officer Marc Cilley and it is open to “anyone who can ride,” according to Lee Police Sgt. Tom Dronsfield.
Cilley, who was born in New Hampshire, previously served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq, before returning to become a police officer. He began working for Milton police in December 2009.
“He has a four-year-old (son) with a baby on the way,” Dronsfield said, adding Cilley learned he had cancer just after buying a home in Wakefield.
While Cilley already underwent surgery to remove some of the cancer, he must go through nine weeks of chemotherapy before doctors will know more.
Much of the strain on the family and friends comes from worrying and waiting.
“He spent most of his life helping other people through the military, the fire department and the police,” Dronsfield said, adding it’s time for others to try and return the favor.
“Marc may not be able to participate, but he’ll try to watch as the line of supporters drives by,” Dronsfield said, adding Cilley is expecting to undergo another round of chemotherapy the week before, which is physically draining.
“It looks like it’s going to be huge,” Dronsfield said, adding he was hoping for 250 bikes to participate in the run, but “it’s easily closer to 500.”
They won’t know until people start registering, which is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Public Dronsfield said, adding it’s time for others to try and return the favor.
At 10 a.m., the bikes are scheduled to ride north on Route 125 — complete with an escort of area police, New Hampshire State Police troopers and a rescue vehicle — all the way to Milton, Dronsfield said.
Dronsfield said participants will then return for a barbecue at noon at the Lee Police Station via Routes 75, 11, 16 and 125.
Once everyone returns, Dronsfield said participants can take part in a silent auction for many items, including two $100 tickets for an upcoming race at N.H. Motor Speedway in Loudon “We have a ton of stuff for raffles,” Dronsfield said.
The event was organized by the Lee Police Association in cooperation with the Milton and Durham Police Departments.
The cost is $20 for riders and $10 for passengers.
Dronsfield said an account to help the Cilley family was established at the Northeast Credit Union. He added donations can be made out to the “Lee Police Association” with “Cilley” in the memo line.
For more information, contact Sgt. Tom Dronsfield at email@example.com.