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September 4, 2012

 

Ride honors C’ville man

Nearly 200 people take part in weekend fundraiser for his children

RideJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
A large group of motorcyclists gather Saturday afternoon at the Elm Tree Inn in McLean before a benefit ride for the children of the late Andrew Partis. The 41-year-old died in December of an aneurysm, leaving behind his wife, Stephanie, and three young children.

By SCOTT CONROE
Staff Reporter
sconroe@cortlandstandard.net

McLEAN — About 170 of Andy Partis’ friends mounted motorcycles and rode 40 miles from McLean’s Elm Tree Inn through the countryside Saturday in his memory.
Later that hot and sunny day, several hundred of his friends gathered at his older brother’s house in the town of Groton for food and music.
Both events were designed to remember the 41-year-old concrete business owner, who died on Dec. 9, and to raise money for college for his three young children.
“Andy would be so proud,” said Kathy Foster, a longtime family friend who lives near Partis’ family on McLean Road. “He would’ve loved this.”
Partis’ brother Willy led the pack of about 150 motorcycle riders, many with a passenger on board, from McLean to Cortland, down Route 281 to Homer and out to Lake Como, then around through Groton to Willy’s house on Route 222.
Right behind him rode Josh Morehouse, Andy’s nephew, with Andy’s oldest child Reid, age 7, as a passenger.
The roar of engines followed an hour of registering people, in an event organized by family and friends starting in May. People stopped traffic on McLean Road so the mass of motorcyclists could head for Cortland.
Some riders were Andy Partis’ friends from his Dryden High School days; he graduated in 1988 and then graduated from Tompkins Cortland Community College. Some were friends who drove motorcycles and snowmobiles with him, and some were just people who know his wife, Stephanie, his brothers Willy and Jeff, his sister Susan Morehouse and his mother, Stella Partis of Cortland.
Andy Partis died of an aneurysm in the back of his neck, said Carol Partis, Willy’s wife. She said Carol Partis said Andy and Willy would ride side by side when they went on motorcycle rides.
“I knew him in high school, and he did the concrete for my swimming pool and my garage,” said Karina Drashi of McLean, who rode a Harley along with her husband, Joe. “His wife is raising young kids and I don’t know how you do it. And it’s expensive.”
Both events also involved selling T-shirts made by family friend Darryl Henry, prizes and raffle tickets.
The goal was to gather as much money as possible for the college educations of Andy’s son Reid and Evan, 2, and daughter Maria, 4.
Organizers plan to hold such an event every year.
About 80 donors, some individuals and some businesses, gave money. Suit-Kote Corp., where Andy worked before starting his own business, AP Builders, gave $1,000 according to an announcement at the party. Economy Paving gave a gift as well.
More than 400 people paid to eat roast pig, barbecued chicken and baked beans, and to listen to live music.
Bands were set up in a large garage on Willy Partis’ property. Above them hung a banner showing Andy on a motorcycle.
Susan Morehouse said her brother, who was four years younger than her, was “a typical younger sibling, annoying, but then he would visit me at college (SUNY Plattsburgh). Then he got to be my snowmobile partner.”
Josh Morehouse said his uncle taught him a great deal about motorcycles and snowmobiles as a boy. He said the number of people who came to his uncle’s calling hours last December were astonishing.
People who wish to donate to the Partis children’s education fund can send a check made out to either Susan Morehouse or Stephanie Partis, to 11 Helen Ave., Cortland, N.Y. 13045.

 

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