Wednesday, 09 May 2018 05:05

Buddy Roes Rides For A Cause

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1949 Harley at Buddy Roe's Fundraiser Ride 1949 Harley at Buddy Roe's Fundraiser Ride Submitted by: Betty Gallo McIntyre

ROCKINGHAM - The weather was perfect as bikes were humming in Rockingham Saturday, May 5 at Buddy Roes as bikers began arriving to participate in the fundraiser for Richmond County Special Olympics (RCSO).

Registration began at 11:00 a.m. and kickstands went up at 1:30 p.m. to begin the ride for a cause.

This was the ninth year Buddy Roes held the ride for RCSO, but this year was different; it was missing someone very special. Saturday’s ride also included a memorial for William “Buddy Roe” S. Roebuck who began the fundraiser nine years ago in support of his niece Elizabeth Horner. Horner has been an athlete for RCSO since she was a young girl and now years later still participates in the adult events. Roebuck passed away in January 2018. “We will miss Buddy today, as he has always been here with us” said Sarah Thompson, one of the fundraiser coordinators. “He is riding in the sky today.” In speaking with Horner, she stated “His heart was gold, as he would give you the shirt off of his back. We miss him greatly.” She also stated her love for softball and her desire for RCSO to start a softball team, but there is a need for volunteers to coach before that can take place.

Terry Williams opened with prayer, then the bikers with big hearts took to the road at 1:30 to begin their journey as they headed towards the festival in Ellerbe, NC. After the festival, they re-routed towards Derby then back to highway #1. The stop before their final destination was a sponsor, the Moose Lodge in Rockingham; with the final destination being Buddy Roes. In speaking to Casey Smith, another fundraiser coordinator she stated, “Buddy would have loved to be here today, as he loved to ride. When Buddy got sick a few years ago, he couldn’t ride his Harley which was a two-wheeler so he purchased a trike in order to be able to continue to ride.”

Dan Russell has been participating in the ride since the fundraiser first began in 2009. “The growth and support has definitely increased in the nine years since it first began” stated Russell. Randy “Mutt” Grooms has also been participating since the beginning as he stated, “I believe the first event that took place only had around eight riders. We are all happy to ride to be able to help raise money for such a good cause, as it also brings people together.”

Another rider, Jay Verde and his five-year old daughter Ashlee who has Down Syndrome were anxious to begin the adventure. Ashlee will also participate in the Spring Games which take place Tuesday, May 8 at Richmond Senior High School. Another rider, which preferred his name not mentioned, has been riding since he was 11 years old. He is now 79 and going strong on his 1949 Harley.

With the delicious smell of BBQ in the air, volunteers worked hard to prepare chicken and pork BBQ plates as part of the fundraiser. After the bikers returned, there was an auction, a 50/50 drawing, and a raffle taking place.

Even though it was a bitter/sweet day for the riders and all involved, Buddy’s legend lives on as the annual event will continue in his memory. This year’s ride included 86 bikers.

The fundraiser included 37 sponsors, and all proceeds from the ride go to (RCSO). For more information on RCSO or to become a coach, contact Theresa Smith, Richmond County Special Olympics Coordinator at 910-997-8379. You can also view the facebook page; Richmond County Special Olympics.



Last modified on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 06:46