Motorcycle ride fundraiser prepares for rain date

Published 10:32 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2011

As Hurricane Irene bears down on Hampton Roads, the F.A.I.T.H. Riders from Southside Baptist Church are praying they won’t have to reschedule a fundraising ride planned for Saturday, but they’re ready to do so if the storm hits.

The Shoebox Ride is still set for Saturday, but event coordinator Raiford Baker said he thinks the group is going to have to move the fundraiser to Sept. 24 because of the storm.

“We’re hoping for the best,” he said.

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Baker said he is watching the weather closely, and he will make a decision whether to reschedule the ride this evening.

The motorcycle ride invites riders and passengers to enjoy a drive through the city and help children in need.

The ride is $20 for a single rider or $10 for female riders and $5 for passengers. The price includes the ride, lunch and door prizes.

This is the second year the Shoebox Ride was planned to raise funds for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry by the Samaritan’s Purse organization that sends shoeboxes filled with hygiene products, toys and school supplies to impoverished children all over the world.

Baker said last year, the ride raised enough money to send shoeboxes to 40 children.

“That’s 40 kids that got Christmas and the message of Jesus Christ that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten it,” he said.

For the first time, the F.A.I.T.H. Riders are sponsoring the fundraiser motorcycle ride, he said.

“People think that they’re all tough and bad guys,” he said. “That’s part of the mission of F.A.I.T.H. Riders to diminish that image.”

Baker said he thinks Operation Christmas Child is a great project, and it is an inexpensive way to give back.

“I don’t know how you wouldn’t want to be part of that making that child’s life when it’s simple and pretty inexpensive to do,” he said.

Baker added he encourages people to get involved with the project even if it isn’t through the Shoebox Ride.

And despite the threat of a hurricane, Baker is hoping for the best for the ride, even if the date has to move to next month.

“It was a great success last year,” Baker said. “And my hopes and dreams are that it will continue to grow and there will a third and a fourth.”

If the show goes on, it will meet at Somerton Friends Meeting, 5239 Quaker Drive. Registration is from 9 to 10 a.m., with the ride departing at 10:30. Lunch is set for noon, with musical entertainment by Danzingo.

For more information on the ride, contact, Raiford Baker at 646-4803.