Kickstands were up by 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and thus began the 74-mile Quad Cities Ride for a Child motorcycle rally.
The quest to prevent child abuse within the Central Texas Area had begun. More than 70 motorcycles completed the event organized by the Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, Exchange Club of Killeen and Exchange Club of Gatesville.
Good weather helped the ride, Mike Blount said, Quad Cities board member.
The ride began in the Coryell County Community Church in Gatesville, and there was a pit stop at Dave’s Sports Bar and Grill in Copperas Cove. The ride ended at Sandy’s Lone Star Events Center in Nolanville.
“The turnout exceeded last year’s count of 40 riders,” Blount said.
The placement of posters in local areas might have also been instrumental, and was one of the reasons why DPS Trooper Ronald Slay decided to attend. He’d seen the flyer posted at the Coryell County Court, he said.
“I liked the camaderie and I liked supporting a benefit for children,” Slay said.
Road captain Bruce Raymond or “Windword” as he’s known was responsible for the safety of the riders. “I’m happy we had no accidents,’ he said, “and the Cove PD was right on time and assisted with traffic control.”
This good fortune continued to the end of the ride with the exception of one rider’s broken drive belt, which required a tow from a stand-by jeep and trailer. Still, rider Shane Webb remained optimistic and said he plans on attending the event next year.
At the last stop in Nolanville, riders enjoyed live music, a silent auction of items donated by Exchange members, and a live auction of gift cards and services donated by local businesses. Participants also were given a meal donated by nearby restaurants.
The Killeen restaurants were very generous, said Steven Murphy, Quad Cities chairman.
“Eight restaurants in Killeen participated: Texas Road House, Hooters, Reds Bar and Grill, Olive Garden, Boston’s, Carolina Ale House, Bushes Chicken, and Big Daddy’s Backdoor BBQ and Catering,” Murphy said.
Quad Cities Ride for a Child will bring in at least $30,000 that will go toward child abuse prevention, Blount said.
“Over 30 businesses and individuals generously contributed $250 or more,” he said.
Clear Creek Meadows Apartments in Copperas Cove was the title sponsor and donated $10,000.
This year’s ride was in memory of Teresa Young, who helped start the event four years ago. Murphy is her nephew. She envisioned providing the necessary funding to help break the cycle, Murphy said.
“The quad cities ride for a child helps bring us closer to her vision of building healthy families and a strong Central Texas community by preventing child abuse and neglect,” he said.