The ride started at Young Amphitheatre inPlymouthand took riders toRochester,BassLakeand then back to the American Legion Hall inPlymouth. Following the ride, a meal and auction were held as well. One of the organizers, Jeff Stewart said, â€śWe canâ€™t thank the community enough for their support in monetary and gift donations.â€ť Speaking of the participants, â€śStewart said, â€śThese are die-hard riders.â€ť
Last year, the event with 86 riders raised $5,900. Stewart is estimating that this yearâ€™s ride, although down in numbers, brought in about $6,000. Stewart and his wife Sherri said they knew their fellow â€śriding brothersâ€ť from the area wouldnâ€™t let them down.
Stewart said, â€śRemarkably, these guys come every year and even pay to ride.â€ť
The Shop- with a Cop program is under the umbrella locally of F.O.P. Lodge 195.
The event served as the kick-off for the fundraisers to help make Christmas better for area children in need. On December 12, the kids chosen out of the hundreds of applications will go with a chaperone to shop for their families or themselves. Each child receives $100. In years past, F.O.P. Lodge 195 President, Hurshel Hunter, has said , â€śItâ€™s common for kids to buy hats, gloves, and coats….and sometimes even toothbrushes…and gifts for their families.â€ť
During the auction, Stewart said, â€śI donâ€™t care how big a man your are, when you take them shopping, it will bring a tear to your eyes.â€ť
It was easy to tell that many of the riders have been planning on keeping the auction proceeds high. For instance, Stewart and his partner Chip Hunter used their custom painting business to decorate coolers and mailboxes to match motorcycle colors that sold for $25 to $95 and totaled $415. Jim Montague custom designed a lamp that he pieced together from a lot of motorcycle parts and starts with an ignition key. The lamp alone brought in $400. Speaking to Montague, Stewart said, â€śThat means four kids are able to shop for Christmas thanks to you.â€ť
It took nearly two hours to auction off the donations from area businesses and other donations from those who just wanted to help and hours to calculate the proceeds from a silent auction.
93 One of the organizers of the motorcycle ride to benefit the Shop With a Cop program, Jeff Stewart, isÂ shown thanking Byron Guerra for participating in this year’s ride. Guerra and others traveled fromÂ Knox to be a part ofÂ the ride.Â
94 Riders are getting their bikes dried off to begin the four hour ride on Saturday.Â
95 Jerry Krick was among the riders who participate in the event to help raise money forÂ the Shop With a Cop program each year.Â
96-99Â Bikers getting ready for ride.Â
2000-2006 Jeff Stewart and daughter Haley Jaggers served as auctioneers for the event.
Carol Anders Correspondent