03/22/11 — Red Cross Ride for Red will be Saturday

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Red Cross Ride for Red will be Saturday

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 22, 2011 1:46 PM

Glenn Barnes saw firsthand how the Red Cross helped his wife's sister when she, her husband and their three children lost their home to a fire.

And being a volunteer fireman, he has seen through the years how the Red Cross is always on the scene to help others who have lost everything in a house fire.

That's why he has been a "hero" for the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross for the past five years. A hero is someone who pledges to raise at least $1,000 during March.

The second year of the Heroes Campaign, Barnes got the Goldsboro chapter of the Blue Knights International, of which he is president, involved and the Ride for the Red was born.

"We adopted the event as our annual charity event," Barnes said. "It's something we look forward to and do what we can to help the Red Cross.

"We ride for fire victims. I'm president of the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department and we so many times see when we have a residential fire, the Red Cross comes out, no matter what time it is, and provides for the family. We know it's something very important. It's something we see on a regular basis unfortunately. So we know there's a need there for those funds. That's why we ride."

This year's Ride for the Red will be March 26 at the Red Cross chapter, 600 N. George St. Registration starts at 9 a.m. The 75-mile ride around Wayne County will begin at 11 a.m.

About 1 p.m., the riders will return to the Red Cross chapter, where they will have a meal served by Oakland Volunteer Fire Department.

The event sees anywhere from 60 to 80 riders each year, depending on the weather.

This year, the Johnston County Chapter of the Blue Knights is taking a part in Ride for the Red. "They usually come out and support us," Barnes said, "but they're taking a more active role this year."

The ride is open to anyone who is a licensed motorcycle rider.

"If you can't ride, come on out anyway," Barnes said. "We're going to have a festive atmosphere with a silent auction, a drawing, music and games. We'll have a donation jar and they can drop some money in and have fun with us."

The cost is $25 and $10 for a co-rider and can be paid during registration.

Ride for the Red T-Shirts will be for sale.

Last year the event raised between $5,500 and $6,000, according to Barnes. "We would like to meet or exceed that goal this year. Hopefully if we have a good turnout, we can beat that."

This year's sponsors have raised about $3,000, Barnes said. They are The Little Bank, Convenient Glass Co., Quality Plumbing and Heating, Mt. Olive Pickle Co., Reconstruction Co., Wayne Realty and Insurance and K and S Construction Services.

Anyone wanting to be a sponsor should call the Red Cross office at 735-7201 or Barnes at 921-0863.