Home Local News Richmond County bikers raise $10k to help bar owner with cancer treatment

Richmond County bikers raise $10k to help bar owner with cancer treatment

Chris Sachs saddles up Saturday for a benefit ride in his honor. See more photos on the RO's Facebook page.
William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s biker community rolled out from the Hide-A-Way Tavern on Saturday to benefit one of their own: the bar’s owner.

Chris Sachs was diagnosed late last year with pancreatic cancer.

Saturday’s ride — which raised $10,000 to help Sachs pay for cancer treatment — was organized by Jamie Watson, Donnie Butler and the late Bill Thompson, who passed away in mid-January.

“I’m just so touched,” Sachs told the crowd before the ride. “Y’all are family to us out here. We love you … thank y’all. I can’t tell you how touched I am.”

Sachs said when he was first approached about the ride, he didn’t want it.

“His idea was he was going to split the money between both his rides he does every year,” Watson said. “But now that the cost has come out for everything that Chris is having to do … the money’s going to Chris and Felicia to help them through this chemo.”

There was no cost for the ride or the food — cooked by Jerry Gardner and his team — but donation jars were set up to collect money.

There were also T-shirts sold with “We wear purple for Chris Sachs” printed on the back and “Heal Cancer” and the Bible quote from Luke 1:37: “For with God, nothing is impossible.”

Family Cycles Sales of Hamlet sold 100 raffle tickets at $25 each for a 2002 Honda Rebel motorcycle — which were sold out in three days. The winner, John Austin, wasn’t at the event, but the prize bike was taken home by his son.

Sachs thanked Family Cycles owner Mark Cockerton for his constant support of the local rides.

“That’s one old joker you can’t ever beat,” Sachs said of Cockerton. “Whenever we do anything, he’s here … he donates whatever you need, he’ll do whatever you need.”

Watson encouraged the riders and other participants to “give from your heart, not from your wallet.”

Auction items included a Harley Davidson motorcycle helmet, a women’s leather jacket, a leather top hat, oil changes from local mechanics, gift certificates from several restaurants and cakes.

One man even donated back the cornhole boards he won at auction during a ride last year — and he again placed the winning bid at $300. Another big-ticket item was a Milwaulke tool set that raised more than $400.

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The 50/50 raffle brought in more than $2,400 after Jerry Hill purchased $100 worth of tickets and issued a challenge that he would match anyone else who bought the same amount. Hill wound up with the winning ticket and, as is customary, donated the money back to the cause.

Zach Long, who was the recipient of a ride and concert last summer, served as the DJ, and Eric Whitfield, Chuck Smith and Nikki Fletcher performed a short acoustic set following the auction.

Sachs has hosted multiple rides since opening the bar in 2018, raising thousands of dollars for various causes.

In 2021 alone, charity rides at the Hide-A-Way collected more than $25,000, including $10,000 for Richmond County Special Olympics. The second annual Back the Blue ride, which was co-hosted by Sachs, also raised more than $12,000 to support shop-with-a-cop programs in Richmond and Scotland counties.

Aside from supporting the Special Olympics, another charity close to Sach’s heart is Project Taylor, which provides toys for children at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill.

After returning home from the event, Sachs posted to Facebook a public thanks to all those who came out.

“We were blown away by the love shown to Felicia and I today,” Sachs said. Thank y’all so much, my heart is melting.”

 

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.