At the time, Pearlman worked as an office clerk for a Queens attorney and had been sent to run an errand at One Police Plaza. He died after rushing to assist police officers at the World Trade Center.
The Howard Beach resident had a passion for serving the community. At 14, Pearlman joined the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps as part of the organization’s youth program.
He later became a dispatcher and then joined the Senior Corps at 18 years old, shortly before his death.
“We have members that are still active who are with us from the origination date in 1971, so there's a handful of people who knew him,” said John Alber, FHVAC public information officer. “He would take two buses to come to Forest Hills and he was very active.”
Paul Marcel, a volunteer with FHVAC and chapter president of the nonprofit law enforcement motorcycle club New York City Punishers L.E.M.C., knew Allen’s family growing up and wanted a way to keep his memory alive.
In 2016, on the 15th anniversary of the attacks, Marcel and others at FHVAC hosted the first annual Run for Richie 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride to honor Pearlman and other first responders who lost their lives.
The motorcycle run also shows support for those who are still suffering from 9/11-related illnesses today.
Since the inaugural run, the annual event has grown exponentially.
“We invite other emergency agencies to join, so there’s a huge procession,” Alber said. “We invite every volunteer ambulance corps in New York City, and that spreads to Long Island and parts of New Jersey.”
Thousands participate in the run that starts and ends in the Aqueduct Racetrack parking lot.
Hundreds of emergency vehicles will lead the way on Sunday, September 8, as participants make their way from the parking lot to Cross Bay Boulevard and onto Woodhaven Boulevard before taking the Long Island Expressway into Manhattan.
Once in Manhattan, they will take FDR Drive down to Ground Zero and loop back to Queens through 42nd Street.
Organizers are encouraging all bike riders to join the parade, including those with sport bikes, foreign or domestic bikes, trikes, side cars, choppers, home-made bikes, and any other vehicle that would require a DOT Motorcycle license.
Proceeds will go towards FHVAC.
FHVAC will also host a 9/11 Memorial at their headquarters (92-29 Metropolitan Ave.) on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the community.
To register for the motorcycle run, visit the group’s Eventbrite page.