09/15/10 — Motorcycle run will benefit victims of domestic violence

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Motorcycle run will benefit victims of domestic violence

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on September 15, 2010 1:46 PM

Local motorcycle enthusiasts will hit the road Saturday for the fourth annual Ride Without Fear poker run, with proceeds supporting Wayne Uplift's domestic violence programs.

Also know as KC's Ride in honor of the late Karen Crawford -- killed by her live-in boyfriend in 2005 -- the poker run brings together dozens of Wayne County riders, like organizer Tim Smith, to raise money for Wayne Uplift and bring attention to the plight of thousands of women facing abusive relationships.

"I don't even think 'important' is a good enough word for it," Smith said.

An electrician, father, biker and longtime supporter of domestic violence outreach, Smith helped organize the Ride Without Fear after learning about Ms. Crawford's death through their mutual friend, Family Y Associate Director Kriquette Davis.

"She came to me one year, and she felt that bikers got a bad name, that bikers had this rough image and we didn't care about this stuff," Smith said. "It put off this image, and I was like, we want to fix that."

They held the first run three months later, and have continued the fundraiser every year since. The money raised goes to Wayne Uplift and the Family Y's special Christmas program for child victims of domestic violence situations.

Members of the Guardian Brotherhood and Ghost Riders, among other bike groups, and plenty of unaffiliated bikers plan to participate. Smith will hitch up his sidecar and ride with his young daughter, he said.

Besides raising money, the event seeks to raise awareness about domestic violence and educate the public about ways to help. The danger of domestic violence can be hard to convey to someone who has never seen its effects, and last year, the group tried a new method of illustrating the issue, Smith said.

"On the back of their registration card, we gave them a 'silent rider,' which was a victim of domestic violence who had passed away due to domestic violence dispute. And we gave everybody a silent rider, and it made it hit home for everybody a little bit more, it made them understand the severity of everything," Smith said. "We had someone from Wayne Uplift come talk and give some stories, stuff that happened in our area, because often you don't hear about it."

The Wayne County community and local businesses have always been very supportive of the event, Smith said. There is no out of pocket cost for the fundraiser pig picking held after the ride, because local companies donated the use of a cooker and the food for the cookout.

Stops will include Wonderland Tattoo in Smithfield, Whisky Dick's, Country Time, Torero's and Morgan's Lounge.

Any riders interested in participating are welcome to sign up for the poker run. The poker games are $10 a hand. Open registration will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, with kickstands up at 12:30 p.m. The ride will leave from Shelton's Harley-Davidson in Goldsboro.

For supporters without a bike, there will be a pig picking at Morgan's Lounge on East Ash Street at 3 p.m. There is no set price for a plate, with a suggested donation appreciated. The meal is included in the registration for riders.

Volunteers are also needed to help with registration and setting up for the ride, and the group is still accepting prizes to be raffled off.

For more information, call Smith at 921-1659.