Sunday, 23 June 2019 22:19

Motorcycle ride raises more than $5K for Richmond County Hospice

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More than 100 bikes participated in the inaugural ride to benefit Richmond County Hospice on Sunday. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. More than 100 bikes participated in the inaugural ride to benefit Richmond County Hospice on Sunday. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — More than 100 motorcycles roared onto U.S. 1 Sunday afternoon in an inaugural ride benefiting Richmond County Hospice.

Before the kickstands went up, the bikes were lined up in pairs stretching down the Hospice driveway, circling around to the back of the building.

The event was sponsored by the Independent Riders of Richmond County and included individuals as well as members of  Ol Skool Tribe Riding Club, Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club, Southern Riders, Steel Wheels and Moose Riders on 105 bikes.

IRRC member Bill Thompson was near the front of the line, dressed as Elvis, wearing a white jumpsuit.

But the event wasn’t limited to just motorcycles. There were even a few cars and trucks, including a Hospice company car.

“It was awesome,” IRRC member Donnie Butler said of the turnout. “The support from everyone was awesome. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this.”

Butler said he suggested Hospice as the beneficiary of the ride not only because of the end-of-life care the nonprofit organization provided to his father, but also the grieving assistance he received.

In addition to the riding fees, the event also raised $5,769 through T-shirt and plate sales, “In Memory” ribbons, door-prize tickets and a silent auction — which included a TV, corn hole boards and a copy of the Eagles album “Hotel California” signed by Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Joe Walsh.

“We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the Independent Riders of Richmond County for all their hard work to make this event a success,” Hospice officials said in a Facebook post prior to the event.

Butler said the group plans to make the ride an annual event.