Riding for hope

Published 4:22 am Sunday, November 19, 2006

Some ride for fun, some ride to escape the week they just worked, and this weekend a bunch rode their motorcycles for hope, or to raise money for the Convoy of Hope.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Convoy of Hope arrived long before the Federal Emergency Management Agency with ice, food and water. Saturday, the Picayune Police Officer’s Association held their semi-annual escorted ride to raise money to send back to the organization as a show of appreciation for all it did to help.

Lt. Chad Dorn with the Picayune Police Department said there were about 78 bikes registered for the benefit event that took place in the morning. The rider of each bike entered was asked for a $20 dollar entry fee. Participants received a complimentary T-shirt.

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Dorn said the ride took them from Jack Read Park in Picayune to Mississippi 43 North, then to Columbia. From there they headed to Lumberton on Mississippi 13 and then on U.S. 11 back to Picayune. A pit stop was planned for those bikes that might need to refuel during the trip, Dorn said.

Local as well as out of towners participated in the event. Bob Murphy with the non-denominational Biker Church in Picayune said about 12 to 13 of the church’s members from its three locations in Picayune, Saucier and Ellisville rode in Saturday’s benefit.

“This is great, though, we were looking forward to this since we heard about it,” Murphy said. “I had no idea it was this big.”

Murphy said the organization usually participates in about 10 to 15 benefits a year.

For safety, a truck and trailer followed behind the motorcycle convoy to ensure that any break downs could be handled promptly, Dorn said. After the trip, he said there was going to be a bike show with plaques to be given out to the winners along with a hamburger and hot-dog cookout.

The event was sponsored by Cartex, Buddy’s Body Shop, Procolor, Café a Moré, Hardee’s, Lee’s Sporting Goods, Wal-Mart, Winn Dixie, American V-Twin, El Mariachi, Diamondhead Country Club, Ryan’s Steakhouse and Daniel’s South Beach.