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Diverse crowd rolls in for event



Published: Thu, August 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



By KATIE LIBECCO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

SHARON, Pa. -- Quaker Steak and Lube's parking lot was crowded with motorcycles and bike enthusiasts Wednesday evening for the second annual Million Dollar Bike Nite.

There were about 4,000 motorcycles, and 7,000 people participated, meeting what Bike Nite coordinators had expected and planned for.

"Bikers appreciate places where they feel welcome, where people are excited to have them," said George Warren, Quaker Steak & amp; Lube president. "They are great customers and good people to deal with."

During weekly Bike Nites throughout the summer, including Wednesday's Million Dollar Bike Nite, 103 people were selected for a chance to win a $1 million cash prize, underwritten by First National Bank.

"We have a long-term relationship with Quaker Steak. They are a great customer," Steve Gurgovits, president and CEO of First National Bank, said. "We want to help them and we want to promote tourism to downtown Sharon."

Ready to roll

At 6:30 p.m., the 103 people selected formed a line for their chance to roll a set of six dice, which were custom-made for the evening's competition.

An armored truck and guards delivered the $1 million cash, escorted by Sharon Police. However, no one rolled the required six First National Bank logos to win the $1 million. The closest anyone came was a roll that included four logos.

After a roll-off later in the night, Marge Gladysz won the night's largest prize of $103, said Bike Nite officials.

Andrew's Cycles, Y103 and First National Bank were the primary sponsors of the night.

"We are happy to be a part of this," Gurgovits, of First National Bank, said. "It's just such a fun night."

Sarah Litman, The Lube's public relations and marketing director, said that each week, Bike Nites bring out about 2,500 bikes on average.

"These people come all season. That's the best part," said Gary Meszaros, Quaker State and Lube's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "But these special events are always fun. We try to keep it interesting."

A wide range

Wednesday's Bike Nite featured a diverse crowd of participants and a broad range of bikes, including hundreds of choppers, Harley-Davidson's and high-speed street bikes. Many participants agreed the diversity is what made The Lube's Bike Nites enjoyable.

The Lube began hosting monthly Bike Nites about 15 years ago, Warren said. About 12 years ago, Bike Nites became a weekly event.

"We appreciate the business of the two-wheelers. We try to take good care of them and meet their needs," Meszaros said. "We want to make them happy."




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