Bikers rev their engines to raise money for charity - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bikers rev their engines to raise money for charity

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BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –Thousands of bikers from all across the country are in Bainbridge this week for the 12th Annual Bainbridge Bikefest.

The 5-day motorcycle rally raises money for Shriner's Hospitals International, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Salvation Army.

And these hardcore bikers know how to have fun while helping a good cause.

That sound can only mean one thing to people in Bainbridge this week.

"Women, barbeque, we grill out and have a lot of fun," says Cecil Gamble, a biker.

Amy Hand, a Bikefest volunteer agrees, "People out here, they're here to party and have fun."

The annual Bainbridge Bikefest attracts people from near and far. Most participants set up tents and campers and vendor booths at the facility on Pondtown Road.

"There are a lot of people here that don't even own bikes," Gamble explains. "It's that big of an event each year that people come just to have a good time."

The bikefest hosts several activities throughout the 5-day event, including a concert series that kicks off here Thursday night and last through Saturday.

But the Bikefest also serves a deeper purpose. It has raised more than $700,000 for charity in its 12-year existence.

"It's a very special event and it's all charity donated," says another volunteer, Leslie Brock. "Most of it goes to a child or wherever they can help out."

And volunteers say these bikers all have a soft spot for people in need.

"I think people have the wrong impression of bikers," Hand believes. "Those are usually the people with the biggest hearts. If they see a child in need, they'll get the cause across. They're willing to put in the money and do what they have to do."

James "Gator" White is passionate about helping children, "Honey, everything I do is for the kids. that's one of the reasons I come up here. Two weeks ago I did a 50/50 and won $600 and told them to keep it, for the kids. That's what it's all about. Everybody talks down on bikers but they better wake up and smell the roses. They're the best people."

And he says no one knows how to raise money for charity while partying as hard as they do.

Organizers say 4,000 bikers showed up to last year's event despite heavy rain.

They hope to double that number this year.

You can find out more information about Bainbridge Bikefest HERE.

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