Home Local News Richmond County bikers raise money for veterans’ hunting trip

Richmond County bikers raise money for veterans’ hunting trip

A convoy of motorcycles pulls out of the parking lot of the Hide-A-Way Tavern June 4 in a ride to finance a hunting trip for veterans. Photo by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Four veterans will have a chance to take a weekend hunting trip later this year, thanks in part to Richmond County’s motorcycle community.

More than 20 bikes roared out of the Hide-A-Way Tavern parking lot Saturday afternoon in the third Special Forces Wounded Warriors Ride.

The event raised around $4,700 for the Silver Tip Hunt Club to give back to those who have served in the military.

Organizer Kevin Porter said he has participated in the Robin Sage training exercise conducted by the Army’s JFK Special Warfare Center and School for the past 22 years.

Robin Sage is the final test for Special Forces trainees based at Fort Bragg and takes place in the fictional Pineland encompassing roughly 20 counties in central North Carolina, including Richmond. Silver Tip’s club land has been part of Pineland.

“Candidates are placed in an environment of political instability characterized by armed conflict, forcing Soldiers to analyze and solve problems to meet the challenges of this ‘real-world’ training,” according to a press release announcing the 2021 exercise.

The hunt, Porter said, “is just a way for us to give back to the guys that give so much for us.”

Each year, the club takes four veterans picked by the Special Forces Association, on a weekend hunting trip in the Norman area off of Capel Mill Road.

“Every dime” raised from the ride goes toward food and supplies for the trip, Porter said.

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During a party on Saturday night, Porter said the club gives them Yeti coolers full of hunting-related gifts and, if there are enough funds, each veteran gets a firearm.

An hour before the kickstands went up on that ride, members of Rockingham-based Playaz Elite Motorcycle Club went across the river to help the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club with “A Ride for Declan,” which was a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

That event raised nearly $3,000, according to William “Bugga” Sturdivant, president of Playaz Elite.

Last month, the club collected food for its Feed the Needy event held May 22 at Showtime Tattoo. Sturdivant said they made up 107 bags and gave out 60. The rest were taken to Place of Grace and Richmond County Aging Services.

The next ride hosted at the Hide-A-Way will be a benefit for Toys for Tots on July 23. Then in September, the bar is co-hosting the third annual Back the Blue Ride on the 17th and Project Taylor Ride on the 24th.

The Back the Blue Ride raises money to support Shop-with-a-Cop programs in Richmond and Scotland counties.

Project Taylor, named in honor of the late Taylor Stewart who died of acute myeloid leukemia , provides toys to children at North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. That ride, which is the organization’s largest fundraiser, is held in September which is both Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Leukemia Awareness Month.

Last month, a ride at the Hide-A-Way raised $10,000 for Richmond County Special Olympics.

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