Big-Hearted #Bikers Work In Concert for Worthy #Cause
Warm sunshine, hot music and an important cause lured more than 3,000 warm-hearted fans to America’s longest-running charity motorcycle event, when Love Ride 28 rolled into Castaic Lake on Sunday, October 23. The event topped $375,000 in pre-expense revenue this year, with proceeds going toward the fight against autism through Love Ride’s chosen charity, Autism Speaks™.
“Once again, thousands of generous riders, sponsors and friends opened their hearts and wallets in the name of helping others,” said Love Ride founder Oliver Shokouh. “In a time when national, state and local budgets are severely strapped, these people are making a real difference.”
But the day was bittersweet as many attendees arrived to Castaic only to hear that fellow riders Romarino Zeri and Julie Cameron had lost their lives in an accident en route to the event. “We are deeply saddened by this news and send our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Romarino and Julie,” said Shokouh.
Overall attendance was 3,000, without counting the hundreds of volunteers who donated their time to the cause. Although the tragic events took an emotional toll, Love Ride celebrities and participants pulled together for the cause. Featured artists Montgomery Gentry rocked the park with the energy of their unique brand of country music, bringing everyone to their feet. Preceding the legendary band were several performers, including Charlie Brechtel who paid tribute to Love Ride and the Sturgis Museum with an acoustic song he wrote, Time Bomb with a strong set of golden-era rock hits, and Sean Wiggins with an all-out performance that left the audience wanting more.
The solidarity among the biker community is the heart and soul of Love Ride; its motto has always been about giving to those less fortunate, recognizing there are needs in our community greater than our own.
“We thank everyone who came out to support Love Ride 28,” said Shokouh. “Their participation in this year’s event means a great deal to me personally, but more importantly to the families who have children diagnosed with Autism. And without our sponsors and numerous volunteers, there would be no Love Ride, so thank you for your generous support.”
Part of the tradition of Love Ride includes “opportunity tickets,” whereby paid participants receive one ticket (with an option to purchase more on site) that provides a chance to win several unique prizes. This year, actor Bryan Cranston rode his 2006 Harley-Davidson Softail to the charity event, placed it on stage and donated it as the grand prize. John Radman of Bakersfield was the very excited winner.
Paying tribute to the 60th anniversary of one of the world's most iconic guitars, Fender Musical Instruments selected the company’s Telecaster® for a one-of-a-kind creation just for the 2011 Love Ride. This unique guitar became the second grand prize, won by Lee Danihels.
James Carnes won third place in the opportunity drawing, which included a Marlon Brando, limited edition mono-print by Stephen Holland. Fourth and fifth places went to Kent Vest and Lisa Griffin, who each won a Swiss Army tool with leather case and a Pulstar spark plug set.
The spirit of Love Ride is giving in the form of fundraising and its efforts go beyond the price of admission. Fundraisers solicit families and friends to sponsor them and monies raised are monitored by a special software program that tracks every dollar an individual raises. Every activity at the event contributes to the overall fundraising effort from food sales to concessions.
The Top Ten fundraisers compete for prizes and this year they raised a combined total of $34,712. The Top Ten:
1. Mark Cheely
2. Jim Carnes
3. Andrew Mullin
4. Ricardo Villarreal
5. Steve Hoffa
6. Gerry Mc Kenzie
7. Kent Vest
8. Judi Flournoy
9. Mark Secrist *
9. Jack Goldstein *
* = Tie for 9th place.
Two unique prizes sparked attention to this year’s Love Ride Bike Show. The premise for entry was simple, 10 bucks to enter, 10 categories and with a bike that would run.
Each of the winners will receive an autographed Peter Fonda trophy along with a group visit to Jay Leno's garage for themselves and a friend. Listed are the bike show categories and this year’s winners:
Pre 1940: Copper Mike
1941-1965: No Entry
XL: Adele Amos
FX: Robert Karamanukyan
FL: Joe Rocha
Best Bagger: Terry Williams
Custom Chopper: Ryan Self
Bobber: Ron Baldonado
Female Owned: Edna Clingerman
People’s Choice: Edna Clingerman
About Love Ride:
The Love Ride, a 501(c)3 charity, began in 1984 to raise funds for children’s charities. Oliver Shokouh is Love Ride’s founder and owner of Harley-Davison® of Glendale located at 3717 San Fernando Road, Glendale, CA, home of the Love Ride.
About Autism Speaks™
Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks™ has committed over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developed innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks™ has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government's response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments.
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