This post was written by guest contributer Ray Tuers.
Instead of the cry of a baby or the giggle of a toddler, the Children’s Center of Transylvania County hopes to hear the roar of a motorcycle one day next month … or the roar of hundreds of motorcycles.
The day is Saturday, Sept. 21, the day the Center will hold its first Ride for a Child motorcycle rally to raise money — and collect diapers — for its many programs to prevent and combat child neglect and abuse.
The event will be held on the grounds of the new Oskar Blues Brewery just outside of town.
“Normally it’s pretty quiet around Brevard,” said Center Executive Director Kathie Williams. “We don’t usually hear anything like the sound of a bunch of Harleys revving up. But come that Saturday we’re looking for a lot of decibels … for a little while.”
The idea isn’t so much for noise as it is for fun, fellowship and to help the Center. Aside from revenues from registrations, the organization hopes to gain because the rally is a “diaper run.” That means riders are asked to bring a pack of disposable baby diapers to replenish the Center’s supply. One of its services provides free diapers to needy families.
Ride for a Child is the idea of the Center’s energetic new program director, Kelly Nicholson, a Brevard native and Army veteran. She staged such a rain-or-shine rally several years ago for a chapter of the American Cancer Society and it was a roaring success. “We had a lot of fun and raised a lot of money for a good cause,” she says, “and I’m sure my home town will do the same.”
Nicholson has invited motorcycle groups, called “hog chapters,” from throughout a four-hour-ride radius. Riders who don’t belong to a club are also welcome and even non-riders can come for the food and entertainment afterward. Part of that entertainment is the ogling of the dressed-up two- and three-wheel machines that has become a ritual at motorcycle rallies.
“I’m hoping to reach 200 bikes,” said Nicholson. “It should be quite a sight!”
Except for the two-hour organized ride involved, the entire event will be held at Oskar Blues’ parking area on Mountain Industrial Drive, which is off Old Hendersonville Highway just south of Ecusta Road.
Registration starts at 2 p.m. and costs $50 for a rider and passenger, $35 for a rider alone.
The ride itself will begin at 4. The scenic route will take the parade of motorcyclists out of town west on Route 64 to Route 215 at Rosman, then north through Balsam Grove on 215 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Next, they’ll travel east on the Parkway to Route 276 and south on 276 back to Brevard.
The food and entertainment part begins at 6, as the riders return. Registered bikers will be served a free barbeque buffet. The meal charge for non-registered public attendees is $7. Oskar Blues Brewery will contribute 10 per cent of its sales to the Center. Two bands, Fox Fire and East Coast Dirt, will provide music. There’ll be games and door prizes, too, and commemorative tee-shirts on sale.
Aside from the prospect of helping to financially support the Center, a private non-profit organization, Nicholson is hopeful the rally will result in a flood of diapers. “We really need sizes 4 and 5,” she said, “and I’m hoping we can rebuild our supply.”
Riders may register before the event by sending a check to the Center at 95 South Johnson St., Brevard, or telephoning Nicholson at 885 7286.
For distant riders who may want to stay overnight, Nicholson has arranged hotel discounts.
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