Home Local News Back the Blue ride to benefit children in Richmond, Scotland counties for...

Back the Blue ride to benefit children in Richmond, Scotland counties for 3rd year

ROCKINGHAM — More than 200 motorcycles are expected to roar through Richmond and Scotland counties Saturday for the third annual Back the Blue ride.

Chris Jackson, a 25-year veteran with the Laurinburg Police Department, founded the ride in 2020 when there were riots and backlash against law enforcement.

His wife, Judy, who was his fiance at the time, wanted to do something to “Back the Blue.”

“I suggested a bike ride because that’s what I do here in Scotland — organize bike rides, bike nights and benefit rides,” Jackson said Wednesday evening.

Jackson said he wanted all the proceeds to go to police departments and sheriff’s offices in the area for their respective shop-with-a-cop programs and “help bring a smile to a child who wouldn’t have got anything for Christmas if I haven’t done this … ride.”

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office held its first Shop with a Deputy event in 2020, helping around four dozen children. Rockingham’s program started its program several years earlier.

The Hamlet Police Department, for the past several years, has been helping individual families with presents for the kids and supplies for the home.

Laurinburg PD and the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office both began their programs in 2015.

Last year’s ride raised more than $12,000 for the cause.

The first event, held in September of 2020, drew more than 200 riders and was free. This year, as last year, there is a $20 fee for bikes and other vehicles in the convoy.

But you don’t need a motorcycle to participate. The ride is open to all vehicles.

Scotland County bikers will leave Jerry’s Deli at 11:15 and roll up to the Hide-A-Way Tavern just north of Rockingham to meet up with their cohorts in Richmond County, where Nikki Fletcher is slated to sing the national anthem.

Leaving there at 1 p.m., the convoy will take the back roads and ride past the former home of the late Richmond County sheriff James Clemmons, then circle around downtown Rockingham and pass by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Rockingham Police Department.

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The bikers will also ride by the N.C. State Highway Patrol office and Hamlet Police Department then to the Laurinburg Police Department and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office before ending back at Jerry’s, where a cornhole tournament is scheduled for 3 p.m.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and food.

Jackson is hoping to have as big of a turnout as 2020 and raise more than in 2021.

Several politicians will be making an appearance, including Republican Congressmen Dan Bishop and Richard Hudson and state Reps. Ben Moss, R-Richmond, and Garland Pierce, D-Scotland. Bishop has been to the previous two rides.

For more information, contact Jackson at 910-610-5140.

The Hide-A-Way will also host a ride Sept. 24 to benefit Project Taylor, which provides toys to kids at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Registration for that ride begins at noon, with kickstands up at 1 p.m. Cost to ride is $20. For more information call 910-719-4089.

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