By Kelly Doran
Harleys Against Heroin had another successful fundraiser this year, including a new ride on the west side of Cincinnati.
Both of the rides went very well, Nikki Patton, one of the founding members, said. The east side ride, which started in Amelia and ended in Felicity, was on July 25 and the west side ride, new this year, which started in Cincinnati and ended in Colerain, was on August 23.
There were 700 bikes at the two events, and they raised $41,000. Last year the east side ride, the original ride that is on its second year, raised $3,100 with 100 bikes, Patton said.
“It’s just amazing the amount of support we received,” Patton said.
A group of friends started Harleys Against Heroin last year to raise money to donate to organizations who don’t charge for drug addiction treatment. The west side ride started because a group contacted Harleys Against Heroin and ask if they could also hold a ride, Patton said in July.
There was a lot more community support and sponsors and more people asking to be involved this year, and there are already people asking about next year, Patton said.
In addition, the east side ride had police help this year from the Clermont and Brown County Sheriff’s Offices, the Bethel Police Department, the Georgetown Police Department and the Ripley Police Department. The officers escorted the riders and set up roadblocks, Patton said.
“It’s just grown so much,” Patton said. People waited along the path of the ride to cheer the riders on, as well.
The money was divided into four checks of $10,250, which the group gave to the First Step Home, the Gateway House, the Sojourner Recovery Services and a special fund set up at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for babies born addicted. The group presented the checks on August 27.
“There’s been too many of us affected by this evil drug and we hope these donations can save many lives,” Patton said.
Patton said that the east side ride will definitely continue next year. She wants to thank the volunteers, bands, sponsors, police departments and everyone who supported the fundraiser.