Hundreds of motorcycles participated in “Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen” this summer. Thousands of people lined the 35-mile route to show their support for our local heroes. The event, now in its tenth year, grossed more than $104,000 for local military families and veterans.
The moving, patriotic ride is sponsored by the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Foundation Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation. It was started to memorialize U.S. Marine Nicholas Xiarhos who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 while going to the rescue of his fellow Marines in combat. It continues to honor all active service members and veterans and to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, including those, like Nick, with ties to Cape Cod. Since the September attacks in 2001, 15 others have lost their lives in service:
United States Army Staff Sergeant Alicia A. Birchett of Mashpee
United States Army Private First Class Paul E. Conlon of Mashpee
United States Navy Captain Gerald F. DeConto of Sandwich
United States Army Sergeant Alexander H. Fuller of Barnstable
United States Army Sergeant Matthew R. Gallagher of Falmouth
United States Navy SEAL Kevin A. Houston of Barnstable
United States Marine Captain Eric A. Jones of Mashpee
United States Marine Corps Private First Class William B. Kiernan of Falmouth
United States Marine Private First Class Daniel A.C. McGuire of Mashpee
United States Army Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino of Bourne
United States Army Staff Sergeant Stephen A. Sprague of Yarmouth
United States Army Private First Class Clinton E. Springer II of Bourne
United States Army Sergeant Zachary D. Tellier of Falmouth
United States Army Sergeant Mark R. Vecchione of Eastham
Commander Francis T. Williams of Sandwich
The memorial fund provides financial assistance to local military families and wounded warriors and supports numerous programs for veterans throughout the community. The fund also supports a scholarship at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Nick Xiarhos’ alma-mater.
Steven Xiarhos, Nick’s father, said, “Each year, I am overcome by the love and gratitude our community shows for those who have served—and continue to serve—our country. Through their generosity, we are able to bring a variety of resources and opportunities to those who have made it home.”
For more information or to donate to the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Foundation Fund, contact Foundation President and CEO Kirstin O’Malley at 508-790-3040 or visit capecodfoundation.org.