Organizer Melissa Lemieux, left, her son, Nicholas Lemieux, 5, and Renee Gaucher were the center of attention at the second annual Ride for Hearts fundraiser held in Dracut recently. More than 100 motorcyclists took part in the event, which raises funds for those, like Nicholas, who have overcome or are coping with congenital heart defects. Photo/Dennis Shaughnessey
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DRACUT — There were Honda Gold Wings, maybe a Triumph or an Indian, but most of the more than 100 motorcycles on hand for the second annual Ride for Hearts bore the unmistakable Harley-Davidson logo on the side.

Moments after the Rev. Bob Connors from St. Marguerite D’Youville Church sprinkled holy water on the bikes, the thunderous sound of engines firing up filled the parking lot of the RK Plaza on Lakeview Avenue in Dracut.

Five-year-old Nicholas Lemieux stood wide-eyed with his mother, Melissa, and waved to the riders as they headed out for the New Hampshire coastline.

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The Ride for Hearts was part of a larger “Day for Hearts” celebration, organized by Dracut resident Melissa Lemieux, whose son, Nicholas, was born with congenital heart disease. When he was 15 months old, Nicholas underwent surgery to repair a hole in his heart. The surgery was a success and while Melissa, a single mom, keeps a close eye on her son, he is a thriving little boy.

Two years ago, Melissa founded a New England chapter of It’s My Heart, a Houston based nonprofit organization that provides support for families affected by congenital heart disease.

This year’s Day For Hearts, which took place on June 6 and pulled in more than $8,000, included the bike run, a complimentary breakfast, a cook-off and fire trucks and ice cream for the kids. When the motorcycles returned, they were greeted under a large tent sponsored by the Dracut Rotary Club, set up in front of O’Hara’s Pub.

“It’s amazing to see the whole community come together for such a great cause,” said Lemieux.