Hundreds Participate in Motorcycle Rally in Hamden for Children Battling Cancer

Motorcyclists came out to the 16th annual Don's Hat Rack Motor Rally in Hamden to support children overcoming cancer treatment and to honor the memory of Don Perrotti.

NBC Universal, Inc.

For 16 years, hundreds of motorcyclists have showed their support for children fighting cancer at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. 

The rally began at Hamden Ice Rink on Sunday morning. About 600 to 800 riders were expected to participate this year in a motorcycle procession to the hospital, where they stopped to donate a new hat of any sort.

The rally supports children fighting cancer and honors Don Perrotti who died at New Haven Children's Hospital in 1998 at age 23. He battled Ewing's Sarcoma for six years. 

His family started the charity ride on what would have been Don's 30 birthday. 

"This was his personality, bigger than life. Loud, always happy. Attracted the attention," said Don's sisters Toni Fracasso and Tiffanie Perrotti. "My husband came up with the idea because we had been avid motorcycle riders. We had been to so many charity rides. And he was like, 'Why don't we think big? Why don't we think about what we do when we go on rides? And that's how it started," said Fracasso. "So, we thought the first year maybe it'll be few people who will show up. And believe it or not, there were a couple hundred the first year and this is what it's grown to."

If you didn't make it out Sunday, you can still contribute. New Haven Children's Hospital collects hats for children year-round. 

Contact Us