Coming together to help others
Row upon row of motorcycles filled the front parking lot at Brewer Cycles, gleaming in the bright midday sun.
The low rumble of more than 200 idling bikes filled the air Sunday afternoon as riders waited patiently in long columns. The noise rose in volume as bikers gassed their engines and took off down Warrenton Road — past groups of waving onlookers — to enjoy a ride through the countryside to raise funds for a good cause.
The 17th annual Duke Children’s Hospital Charity Ride brought about 330 people out and raised some $8,500 for the medical center — about $1,000 more than last year, said Chris Brewer, who started the event.
Originally, the motorcycle dealer hosted a charity ride supporting hospice care, but that changed when his son got sick.
“My son, Tyler Brewer, got sick with cancer when he was 8 ½ years old, on my birthday, actually,” Chris Brewer said. “I changed the ride to help Duke Children’s Hospital.”
All told, the event has raised around $79,000 for the facility that helps sick children, Brewer said.
First-timer Lori Eisenhauer, of Oxford, said that’s exactly why she wanted to get involved.
“It’s a great cause,” she said. “I’m all about doing things for other people. Bikers are good for that.”
Oldies but goodies blared from speakers while the smell of barbecue wafted through the air — the promise of what awaited riders when they got back from their tour.
Jordan Chaney, development officer with Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center, said he was so grateful to come out and see so many people want to help.
“Thank you,” he said. “You are part of something that is truly wonderful.”
Jerry Barnett, of Warrenton, said he’s been part of the charity ride for several years, but it was his first time bringing his son Isaac.
He said he wanted his son to see what it felt like to be part of something bigger than he is.
“It’s a beautiful cause,” Jerry Barnett said. “I wanted him to experience it. … I’m a single dad. I always try to teach him the finer things in life, which is helping others.”
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