Ride for a Child motorcyclists revved up their engines at noon Saturday at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple. Jimmy Wheeler, club chairman, said their route of about 60 miles would take them to Little River-Academy and Salado, and then to the Pit Stop Bar and Grill in Nolanville.
“We’re preventing child abuse one ride at a time,” he said. “We raise funds and support the organizations that work in child abuse prevention and awareness.”
That includes AWARE Central Texas, Garden of Hope-Central Texas and Coryell County Rainbow Room, he said.
“By supporting these organizations who support the kids — who are in the system and going through these types of situations — we hope to help to prevent it occurring,” he said. “The more riders we get and the more sponsors we get, the more we can support these organizations.”
The club usually has a benefit motorcycle run in the winter, but the bad weather caused it to cancel the November 2022 run, he said.
Another run is set for two months, in May.
Greg Simpson of Killeen, who rode a 2013 Harley-Davidson street bike, said he was with a church group called Grace Riders. The group has about 20 members, he said, and about nine of them were riding in this event. He’s participated in the benefit run for about five years.
“We love to ride and we’re doing it for the benefit, to prevent child abuse,” he said. “It’s good fellowship. You meet some good people and you get some good food at the end.”
David Valdez of Killeen, another member of Grace Riders, rode a 2008 Harley-Davidson tricycle.
“Ever since I heard about it, I’ve been on it, because kids need all the help they can get,” he said of the ride. “It’s cold, but it’s all right. It’s for them. I’ll ride for them no matter what the weather is. Kids are our future. We’ve got to take care of them.”
He said his wife, Olivia, who works for Child Protective Services, usually rides with him.
“There could be a whole lot more people helping,” he said.
Another Grace Riders member, Michael Bazilius of Killeen, rode a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide.
“I think this is perfect weather,” he said. “I would rather ride a little chilly than in 112 degrees.”
He was all for the benefit, he said.
“I think anybody who harms a child should be harmed,” he said.
To recycle a child abuser back into the community is not fair for the abused child or for other children who may become abused by that person in the future, he said.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.