03/27/06 — Bikers ride for the Red Cross

View Archive

Bikers ride for the Red Cross

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 27, 2006 1:47 PM

Bad weather didn't stop motorcycle riders from raising more than $6,500 for the Red Cross on Saturday.

The second annual Ride for the Red, sponsored by the Goldsboro chapter of Blue Knights International, had 54 bikers winding their way on a 75-mile trip around Wayne County. A cold rain greeting them for much of the ride. The Knights are an organization of active and retired law enforcement officers.

"Based on the weather, I think it went well. There's so much that depends on the weather that it's a gamble. We got rained on a few times and it was a little chilly, but we reached our goal," said Glenn Barnes, who coordinated the event. The goal was $5,000. Last year, the ride raised $4,200.

Proceeds will be donated to the Wayne County chapter of the Red Cross to support local services and programs.

"The Red Cross is a cause near and dear to my heart. I've had family members affected by house fires and the Red Cross was there," Barnes said. "I've also been to some large fires, such as the Paramount Theater, and the Red Cross is always there. I've seen everything that they do. I think Red Cross is something that's essential."

Hilton Best was a first-time rider in this year's event. He is a member of the Goldsboro chapter of the Blue Knights.

Best said he joined the ride to both meet new riders and to help support a good cause.

Barry Wood decided to join the ride after learning about the event from a co-worker who is a member of the Johnston County chapter of the Blue Knights. It was his first time, too.

"It's fun, and a good cause," Wood said.

Wesley Broggi is a member of the Southern Cruisers motorcycle club. He also rode in last year's event.

"I do it just because it's a good thing to do," he said. "It was enjoyable today and I had a good time."

Another rider was Gene Berard. He used to work at Goldsboro Police Department and was a member of the local Blue Knights chapter last year when they held their inaugural ride.

"The weather was a lot nicer this year than it was last year, even with the little rain and hail we had in Mount Olive," he said.

Berard said he took part in the ride for the fellowship and camaraderie, and to see friends he hasn't seen for a while.

"And it's for a good cause," he added. "I'll be here next year, too."

"It gives us something to do to bring ourselves together and is a fun thing to do," said Blue Knights member David Wilson. "Rain doesn't stop us; it just slows us down a little."

Following the two-hour ride, lunch was donated by Doug Henry Pontiac GMC.

Barnes said he hopes next year's ride will be even bigger and raise even more money for the Red Cross.