I’m sure you’ve all seen the facebook meme about bikers being some of the most charitable people you will ever meet. As far as I know, it’s absolutely true. Three or four times a year we participate in rides to raise money for a cause, or more often for a person or family that has affected one or more of us personally, and needs monetary help.
Yesterday we rode for Christy. Christy is currently being treated for breast cancer. She has endured 8 rounds of chemotherapy and will undergo surgery next week. She is also our friend Maggie’s daughter.
This is Christy, and her mom Maggie.
Christy lives in California and is facing this horror without a lot of help, but the awesome thing was that she was able to be here for the event. She got a backseat on the ride and really loved every moment of the day. I cannot begin to describe what a positive, smiling attitude she has. Christy is truly a beautiful person, going through a fiery hell. I’m so happy that so many people were able to come together to give her a sunshiny day in the midst of it all.
Our particular group has grown pretty adept at hosting these events. They start off with a breakfast at one of our local watering holes (Thank you TJ’s) with a designated time to head out on a group ride, participation in which requires the purchase of a ticket for each rider and passenger. There are several stops, during which raffles take place (more tickets to purchase), finally culminating in a feast (purchase) and an auction of donated items (ka-ching!). It’s not all bikes and bikers either. We always have multiple cars, spotting and following the bikes. It works every time.
Here’s the schedule (flyer) from yesterday’s event.
We started off at T.J.’s, one of the places that her Mom Maggie works. There was a $5.00 buffet breakfast, scarfed up by hungry people wearing black leather. Alan must be thanked for his tireless, and delicious cooking 🙂
Also during breakfast is registration, when you buy your ride ticket ($10 single rider/$15 rider with passenger). Our greeter and money taker for the morning was Adele and she had a cute little rhyme intro.
“My name is Adele, and I’m here to take your money. A single rider is $10, plus a passenger equals $20”. (It was $15, but I was trying to insist she make it rhyme).
Those were the blue tickets. Blue tickets also made you eligible for all raffles and door prizes. But the pressure was on for more spending already. Also available for purchase pre-ride were red tickets, $1.00 each for the 50/50 drawing. (winner gets 50% and cause gets 50%), as well as $5.00 tickets (yellow), to win the grand prize, a gorgeous outdoor patio table/cabinet with a built in cooler. Check it out.
Needless to say, I had a pocketful of all different colored tickets, as did everybody else. Give people a chance to win something, and they will pay.
I would guess that there were 40 bikes, 5 cars and 75 people at TJ’s yesterday morning to start off the ride.
One of the more serious aspects of an event like this one is the schedule. Kick Stands Up at 11:30 am sharp, and they were. We began a slow roll down Pacific Avenue, enroute to Rock the Dock on Tacoma’s waterfront.
It is worth mentioning that if you haven’t taken part in an event like this before, there is something very powerful about moving around town in a pack like formation. There is a force that overcomes everyone involved, a shroud of safety and joy. It’s a feeling of utter do gooding mixed with friendship (new and old) and fun. The ride alone is worth the price of admission.
At Rock the Dock there was more eating, lots of visiting, frivolity, picture taking, friend making, coffee drinking and raffle prizes. I don’t know how many times I sorted through those different colored tickets in my pockets. It turned out that the blue ones were the ones to have for most of the day. There were tshirts and gift bags, biker bandanas and Jagermeister hats. Who doesn’t like to win a prize, any prize, who cares which prize? Buy more red tickets, buy more yellow tickets. At least 5 more bikes joined the party.
Sooner than later, it was kickstands up again. We were off to Rollie’s. Rides were adjusted and some of the car passengers, family and friends of our target Christy, decided to try a back seat. Adele went from riding in Richard’s side car to the back seat of another rider.
At each stop the feeling of community and love grow stronger. By the time we all reached Rollie’s we were a pack to be recognized. There was dancing in the parking lot, there was a lot of hugging, and a boat load of photos. There were aggressive sales of yellow tickets (grand prize), red tickets (50/50), and even more blue raffle tickets ($1 each now). 4 more bikes joined the party.
There were way more raffle prizes given out. More Tshirts, more gift bags, more hats and do rags were given to lucky blue ticket winners. I was lucky enough to be able to shout out the winning raffle ticket numbers at Rollie’s, or maybe it wasn’t that I was lucky, maybe it was because I was willing to yell loud. Anyway, I was happy to help facilitate.
It’s that time again! Kick Stands Up! This time we were off up the road to the Roy Y, our final destination for the day.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Roy Y, it’s a good sized bar. Their cook had spent much of the day getting ready for our spaghetti feed. There was cordoned off bike parking and what seemed to be ample car parking, but really turned out to be a little shy of what we required. We were joined by 20 more bikes and at least as many cars.
There was a live band, an outside bonfire and an overwhelmed bartender (everyone breathed a sigh of relief when she was joined by additional staff), and so many friends and family of Maggie and Christy. People really showed their support for this event.
Raffle time, blue tickets, last call for blue tickets. This time there was a PA system and a microphone so there was no need to keep yelling and whistling. More T Shirts, more do rags, I won twice. Hooray!
Now I know that some of you might be concerned about the many alcoholic opportunities presented during the day, what with all the driving around and all. Please be assured that while some of the passengers were tipsy, and all had a good buzz on at the Roy Y, there was a hearty dinner. $7.00 a head, you guessed it, more tickets. 🙂
Giant plates were heaped with spaghetti and covered with homemade meat sauce (which had been simmering since Tuesday I heard). There was a huge green salad, cheese and croutons, with just about any kind of dresssing. It calmed many a leather clad beast down to a dull roar.
Now this is a good thing, because it was time for the auction! A dear friend and fellow rider offered to call it out, and off it went. There were wood carvings, a football shaped cooler and a Seahawks BBQ. Round trip open ended airline tickets, bar lights and mirrors, a magic bullet, a mandolin and fishing poles. The offerings were endless and everything sold. The party closed with the winner of the 50/50 (Mark) who donated his winnings back to the cause, and with the grand prize drawing of the Harley Cooler and much passing around of breast cancer support swag.
As everyone hugged and laughed, and battled amongst each other for the donated auction items, friendships were made, renewed and strengthened. Money was raised for a fine young woman in a tough spot.
$6,503 to be exact. I know everyone spent a decent hunk of change, and some gave more than others. Everyone certainly gave what they could though, and we all had a great time. It was a beautiful day, and while the weather was better than we could have expected, that’s not what I mean. The entire event, was just so beautiful and successful, for everyone, and for that I am thankful.
There is a lot of hard work that went into the day, we cannot forget to thank the even more giving people that made it happen. There are at least a dozen. People that planned the entire thing, over a time frame of at least two months. People that donated auction items, raffle items or made gift baskets. People that gave their time to administrate the event, rather than just have a great time. Flyer designers, and food cookers, the businesses that welcomed and catered to us all day long, the artist that made the grand prize cooler. Not to mention those that came out to be a part of and support the event. So many people are to thank for this day.
So that’s how we do it. Bikers are secret Rock Stars.
We Love You Christy!
If you would like to donate to Christy’s fight, here is a link to her Go Fund Me page.