WARREN - Smiling and joking, ''that about summed it, that was Marc,'' said Tammy Geist of Bazetta of her friend, Marc Titus, the well-respected former Warren firefighter and union leader.
''He was absolutely my best friend, he was a great person, he was a giving person ... for us to do this, it was the least we can do,'' said Warren firefighter Capt. Bill Monrean of Titus, who was Monrean's fellow firefighter for 21 years and was the reason why so many people came together Sunday.
The second annual Marc Titus Memorial Run was as much about celebrating and remembering the life of the 46-year-old Titus as it was about raising money for charities that he supported.
Warren firefighter Capt. Bill Monrean, wearing a T-shirt memorializing his friend and former firefighter Marc Titus, stands among a parking lot full of motorcycles Sunday at the Powerhouse Bar in Warren. The bar on Mahoning Avenue N.W. was the beginning and end point of the second annual Marc Titus Memorial Motorcycle Run. Titus, 46, was killed in a motorcycle crash June 7, 2012.
Beki Blackson of Cortland outbid others Sunday for this whiskey barrel. Blackson said she intends to put the barrel in a basement bar she and her boyfriend, Warren firefighter Lt. Bill Smith, are building in their home. Mark Davidson, owner of the Powerhouse Bar, donated the barrel, one of 15 he has in the bar.
Tribune Chronicle / Ron Selak Jr.
Sixty-seven motorcycles participated in the 86-mile or so ride from the Powerhouse Bar in Warren to Salem and back to the Mahoning Avenue N.W. bar. The goal was to raise $1,500. The run was put on by International Association of Firefighters Local 204 in Warren, of which Titus had been president.
Titus, of Cortland, died June 7, 2012, in a motorcycle crash in which his bike ran into an overturned tractor-trailer that had flipped over onto state Route 11 shortly before the crash. The truck had overturned because the dump bed was in a raised or partially raised position causing it to hit the King Graves Road overpass.
Investigators do not believe Titus saw the unlighted tractor-trailer until seconds before he hit it.
Warren firefighter Matt Dietrick, who with Monrean organized the motorcycle run, said he and Titus were organizing another run for the Muscular Dystrophy Association when Titus died, so that run became a joint benefit, with the funding split between MDA and Titus' family.
Titus, a senior firefighter on Dietrick's turn, ''always looked out for the younger guys, he looked out for everyone actually,'' Dietrick said.
This year's event was a little bigger than last year, and organizers hope it continues to grow. Sixty-four motorcycles participated last year.
''It makes you feel good that the community gets behind something like this,'' said Powerhouse Bar owner Mark Davidson, who said he's known Titus and Titus' family for about 20 years.
Davidson donated for auction one of the bar's 15 Jack Daniels distillery's Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey barrels. The empty barrel was bought for $300 by Beki Blackson, who plans to put in in the basement bar she and her boyfriend, Warren firefighter Lt. Bill Smith, are building in their home.
Blackson did not know Titus, ''but who could not be affected by something like this,'' she said.
In addition to the Powerhouse Bar, other major sponsors were Hovis Tire in Bazetta, state Rep. Sean O'Brien, D-Brookfield, and Rubber City Harley in Akron.