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Family and friends of Matthew “Hank” Rutherford’s will again honor his memory with a second annual memorial motorcycle ride Saturday.

Matthew, 17, of Bel Air, died three days after Christmas in 2007 from complications of injuries sustained in a car accident.

His mother, Chele Schirmer, who works in the ad trafficking department of The Aegis, calls the memorial ride “touching.”

“I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for Matthew’s parents and his younger brother, Andrew, and the way they continue to keep things together. I think it’s a bit of a healing piece,” Kathy Robinette-Stoneberg, a family friend of Matthew, said. “Kevin Rutherford [Matthew’s father] said: ‘It’s something that you get through, it’s not something that you get over. Every day is very difficult for all of us.’”

Last year, Robinette-Stoneberg organized a motorcycle ride in honor of the late Bel Air High School student, who was in his senior year when he died.

“It’s very important to me because this is my way of keeping Matthew’s memory alive,” Robinette-Stoneberg said. “So we had the memorial ride last year and because of the positive turnout, the people that participated in the ride, the volunteers and the place where we originally had the ride, all wanted to do it again and so here we are, doing it again. It’s very good.”

The 2009 Memorial Ride for Matthew will begin Saturday at Bull on the Beach, 2306 Churchville Road in Campus Hills. Registration starts at 11 a.m. and the ride starts at 1 p.m.

“If it doesn’t rain, we could potentially have somewhere in the range of 100 to upward of maybe 350 people,” Robinette-Stoneberg said. “Last year, we had some of Matthew’s friends from his school come and they drove their cars, so that was really fun. I’m not 100 percent sure how many people we’ll have, but because of the community and big circle of friends we have, they’ll show up no matter what.”

The cost is $25 per driver, which includes a memorial T-shirt. The cost for passengers is $5, plus $10 for a T-shirt. All participants are required to sign a waiver.

The route will be provided the day of the ride, in addition to a light breakfast and lunch.

The 50-mile ride will leave Bull on the Beach at 1 p.m., go to Susky’s River Grill in Port Deposit, then Torino’s Restaurant in Bel Air before ending at Bull on the Beach.

On the day of the ride, there will also be a silent auction, raffles and door prizes.

All contributions will be made to the Matthew “Hank” Rutherford Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The fund offers college and trade school scholarships to students from Bel Air High School who display strong character and aspire to make meaningful contributions to society, according to the scholarship’s Web site.

A minimum of five scholarships will be awarded ranging from $500 to $1,000. More than $16,000 has been raised from donations, last year’s memorial ride and the golf tournament in honor of Matthew.

For more information and to apply for the scholarship, please visit http://matthewrutherford.org/scholarships.html. The deadline to apply is May 15.

“I think the most important piece is people don’t forget Matthew. I think this is a direct reflection on his personality and his caring ways, i.e. always making people laugh, always making people feel good,” Robinette-Stoneberg said. “He was just a very, very happy guy, so I think that part of his personality has basically been infused into other people without him really knowing it.”


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