Keeping Biker Buns Warm Since 2002

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Keeping Biker Buns Warm Since 2002

It’s midnight on a Saturday; do you know where your mother is? 

If it’s the first weekend in August, she might be having her annual “Ladies Night Out,” except this crew won’t be home until the next morning. These party moms are busy making breakfast at Mass Maritime Academy for thousands of cyclists taking on day two in the Pan-Mass Challenge. Working the late shift – or early shift, depending on how you look at it – they start at midnight and finish at 8 a.m. 

“Only your true friends will come out at midnight,” says Wende O’Brien founder of Ladies Night Out, which has become the unofficial name of MMA’s volunteer breakfast team. “I heard the Pan-Mass Challenge was in need of volunteers. I made a couple of phone calls; it wasn’t a hard sell. As mothers, we rarely get the chance to go out and stay up late. The night is full of fun and laughter. We chat the whole time while we work, none of us miss the one night of sleep.” 

The women who participate in Ladies Night Out range in age from 40 to 78-year-old Mary Lou Alfano, who is O’Brien’s mother.  Also known as “The General,” Alfano is one of the volunteers who do everything from slicing fruit to setting-up chairs and tables, to assembling 3,000 egg and cheese sandwiches, otherwise known as “bike buns.”  

But O’Brien has more than adrenaline and coffee running through her veins during those wee-hours of the morning. She is filled with gratitude, she says. When her 12-year-old son, Schuyler, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma she couldn’t believe the overwhelming support she received from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “I will volunteer here until the day I die,” says O’Brien, “I am just so indebted to the Jimmy Fund. The least I can do is put breakfast on the table for the people riding190-miles and raising money for cancer research. The first weekend in August is booked from here on out.”  

Almost all of the Ladies Night Out crew has been touched by cancer in some way; two are breast cancer survivors. When one relapsed last year and could not volunteer because she was in treatment, her daughters took her place. Schuyler, now 22-years-old, is in college and also back in treatment again at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. He will volunteer with his family this summer.  

More than 3,100 volunteers work year-round and in many capacities for the PMC.  It is the volunteers’ tireless work and unending support that enables the PMC to be among the most efficient nonprofit organization in the nation. Volunteer registration is open and the Ladies Night Out crew is always looking for more members.  To register to volunteer for any position at the PMC, visit


L to R Mike Moore, Wende O’Brien, Schuyler O’Brien and Otis Moyer

Post courtesy of Teak Media