Friday, 10 September 2021 17:18

September rides in Richmond County to benefit veterans, childhood cancer patients

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September rides in Richmond County to benefit veterans, childhood cancer patients RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County bikers will be back on the road in September raising money for causes to support veterans and sick children.

This weekend’s ride is a fundraiser to help purchase supplies to send special forces and Wounded Warrior veterans on a weekend hunting trip later this year.

The trip, sponsored by the Silvertip Hunt Club of Ellerbe, is now in its second year.

Silvertip president Kevin Porter said one reason the special forces vets are included is because the hunting grounds have been used for Robin Sage training since before the club was formed 30 years ago.

“We hold those boys mighty near and dear to our hearts,” he said.

The hunt lasts from Friday through Sunday and the veterans are fed and given other supplies.

The four veterans who went out last year bagged seven deer in the two-day hunt.

“They had an exceptionally good weekend,” Porter said.

When the vets left, each had a 60-quart Yeti cooler filled to the brim with a new firearm on top.

This year’s hunt is scheduled for the first weekend in December.

As for the ride, registration starts at noon at the Hide-A-Way Tavern on Billy Covington Road, with kickstands going up at 1 p.m. Bikers will ride up to Cox’s Double Eagle Harley Davidson in West End and eventually back to the bar.

Joey Bostick said last year’s ride featured around 60 bikes.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Bostick said.

The event will also feature and auction, 50/50 raffle and door prizes — and food.

Registration is $20 per bike and Sunday has been set aside as a rain date.

The following weekend, the Hide-A-Way is hosting another ride, also in its second year, to benefit Project Taylor.

The organization, which provides toys to children at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, was founded by Lorrie Stewart of Norman in honor of her late daughter, Taylor.

Taylor Stewart was diagnosed shortly after her 12th birthday in August 2010 with acute myeloid leukemia, which is more common in adults.

Stewart said, although there were a few times Taylor was able to come home, much of the time was spent at the hospital or in the area.

She was surprisingly a match and donor for her daughter’s bone marrow transplant in February of 2011. They were preparing for another transplant the following year when doctors discovered the cancer had spread to Taylor’s bones.

“She was a little fighter,” Stewart said.

Taylor passed away Sept. 7, 2012 at the age of 14.

Stewart said Taylor had two wishes: to be buried at home; for her mother to take toys to the other children at the hospital.

Both were fulfilled, though Stewart said it took her a few years before she was able to start the latter.

Stewart usually takes bags of toys — mostly purchased from The Little Toy Shop in Southern Pines, Taylor’s favorite store — during the spring and summer months, since the kids are “inundated” with gifts during the winter.

“I’d take them up every day if I could,” she said.

She said Hide-A-Way owner Chris Sachs eventually suggested holding a motorcycle ride to raise money for the cause, and the first fundraiser was held in 2019.

According to Stewart, September is the perfect time to hold the ride since it is both Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Leukemia Awareness Month.

"This bike rally is our one big fundraiser," Stewart said.

Although Stewart prefers delivering the toys in person, that action has been hindered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s ride was also canceled due to COVID.

“To see the kids smile is unreal … it just brightens their day,” Sachs said. “To give them a minute of sunshine is with it.”

Registration for the ride is noon Sept. 18 at $20 per bike, with riders leaving at 1 p.m. Like the other ride, there will be food, a raffle, door prizes and an auction.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout and can get some good gifts for the kids,” Stewart said.