Bike rides for charity head out Saturday

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The recession has prompted an increasing number of nonprofit organizations to hold fundraising events.

Two first-time bike rides are planned for Saturday, July 18 for the benefit of two different Chilton County organizations.

The local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is holding a community ride to Talladega Superspeedway for two laps around the track and an up-close look at Winner’s Circle.

This ride departs at 9 a.m. from Action Motor Sports in Clanton.

Also, the Christian Motorcycle Association is riding for the Sonlight Center — a Jemison area food bank, shelter and thrift store.

This ride departs at 10 a.m. from Clanton’s Ollie Park en route to Paul M. Grist State Park in Selma.

Both rides are open to the public.

“We’ve been in need of operating funds, just to pay the light bill and purchase food to hand out,” said Betty Pettway of the Sonlight Center.

The center, established five years ago, gives food to the needy every Sunday morning.

They also have a battered women’s shelter, men’s shelter and thrift store in Jemison’s old town district.

Members of the CMA assisted the center one Sunday when they came up with the idea for a community bike ride. Proceeds from Saturday’s ride will allow the center to remain open.

“We just get more and more people that are in need of food and shelter,” Pettway said.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Ollie Park. Admission is $20 per rider or $5 per passenger (passengers who register early may ride free). A barbecue and door prizes in the park will follow.

“You don’t have to ride a bike or ride in the ride,” said CMA member Dewayne Fox. “It’s just $5 if you want to come.”

For more information on the Sonlight Ride, call 688-2368 or 688-1155.

More about FOP bike ride

Those who wish to join the FOP should arrive early for registration from 7:30-8:45 a.m. at Action Motor Sports. Admission is $25 per bike, and the first 50 will receive a free T-shirt.

Word has spread about the trip to Talladega and Winner’s Circle, and especially the grand prize — two tickets with pit passes for the Talladega race in October.

“We’ve actually had people from Mississippi call us,” said Warren Garris, president, Smith Dale Lodge No. 31. “There are people who will never, ever get inside Talladega raceway other than on their TV.”

Garris encourages riders to take cameras for pictures at Winner’s Circle.

After Talladega, the ride will conclude at the FOP lodge on Keystone Drive in Clanton with live entertainment, food and door prizes.

For more information about the FOP ride, call 280-4306 or 351-2718.