Saturday, 26 September 2020 15:07

MOTORCYCLES AND MONEY: Richmond County bikers raise money for local causes

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Riders from at least four local motorcycle and riding clubs head out on a ride Saturday afternoon to benefit the Andy's Foundation. See video of all the bikes taking off on the RO's Facebook page. Riders from at least four local motorcycle and riding clubs head out on a ride Saturday afternoon to benefit the Andy's Foundation. See video of all the bikes taking off on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — A convoy of motorcycles roared out of the Hwy 55 parking lot Saturday afternoon in a benefit ride for the Andy’s Foundation.


Riders from several Richmond County motorcycle and riding clubs — including Ol Skool Tribe, Steel Wheels, Playaz Elite and Confederate Misfits — rolled down U.S. 74 Business to N.C. 177, taking it into South Carolina before hitting S.C. 9 to Cheraw, riding up U.S. 52 to Morven and turning onto N.C. 145 to hit U.S 74 to come back to Rockingham, ending at VFW Post 4203.

This is the fourth year of the ride, according to Ol Skool President Chris Cox.

Cox said he became friends with J.R. Cottle, owner of the Hwy 55 location in Rockingham, who invited him to play in the Andy’s Foundation Golf Tournament in Mount Olive, where the restaurant chain is based.

“I saw what they were doing with the money and the good that they were doing and how they were distributing it,” Cox said.

When he joined Ol Skool Tribe, he brought it up to the club and the members decided to organize a ride.

“And it just got to where it’s an every-year thing now,” he said.

Cox said the Foundation “does a lot of good things with the money they get.”

According to the website, the foundation is named for the original chain of restaurants, Andy’s Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers, which were popular in the eastern side of the state before branching out.

“In 2000, Hwy 55 president and founder Kenney Moore began a golf tournament to support local charities,” the website reads. “After several successful years, that golf tournament became a foundation to better serve a larger number of organizations within the operational area of our backyards. The Andy's Charitable Foundation made its first contributions in November of 2006, and it continues to do so annually.”

The foundation raised more than a million dollars for the Miracle League, Make-a-Wish Foundation and other causes within the first nine years, according to the website.

Cottle said Ol Skool’s annual ride raises more than $4,000 for the Andy’s Foundation each year.

He added that the money is given back to local charities, including the Autism Society and the Pence Place group home.

Cottle said he’s very appreciative for the annual fundraiser.

“They don’t have to do it,” he said. “They don’t get anything out of it, other than the satisfaction of knowing (they’re) helping people out.”

The local restaurant provides a hot dog lunch for the participants following the ride.

Cox said a lot of work goes into planning the ride and he usually starts in early July.

This year, he bought face masks at an auction to resell for the benefit and raised $300 before the ride. The leftovers will be given away as door prizes.

In addition to the entry fee and door prize tickets, there is also a 50/50 raffle and auction.

Steel Wheels has a ride planned for Sunday, Sept. 27 to raise money to purchase hunting supplies for Special Forces Wounded Warriors to go on a weekend hunt in December sponsored by the Silver Tip Hunt Club of Norman.

That ride will start at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Dunham’s Sports in Rockingham and end at the Hide-A-Way Tavern on Billy Covington Road.

Richmond County’s motorcycle community has raises thousands of dollars each year for local causes.

In July, another Ol Skool ride raised more than $2,000 to provide grave markers for Richmond County veterans.

In 2019, clubs raised money for Richmond County Hospice, Richmond County Special Olympics, the Richmond County Rescue Squad and a paralyzed mother of two.

Last week, more than 200 motorcycles from Richmond and Scotland counties joined together for a “Back the Blue” ride, with the proceeds planned to go toward Shop-With-A-Cop programs in both counties.