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Riders hit the road to benefit Star Community

August 21, 2010|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI
  • Motorcycle riders leave The Improved Order of Red Men Tribe 84 for a ride through Maryland and West Virginia Saturday to benefit Star Community Inc.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Star Community Inc. provides residential and day habilitation services for people with developmental disabilities.

Like many other nonprofit organizations, Star has felt the pains of a budget crunch.

"We've had recent budget cuts from the state," said Katie Hoover, marketing director for Star Community. "We are looking for ways to make up some of that loss through different fundraisers. We're reaching out to people in the community we haven't reached out to before."

Some of those people in the community thundered on motorcycles across rural, local roads Saturday as Red Men Riders Tribe 84 of Williamsport hosted a ride to benefit Star Community.

Hoover's husband, Jason Hoover, bought a motorcycle several months ago. Shortly after he got it, the couple took part in a Red Men Riders event to benefit a local young man with cancer. Katie Hoover was impressed with the event and the money it brought in, so she contacted the group about doing a ride for Star.

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"(Red Men Riders) is an extremely generous group. I've heard of numerous things they've done in the community. When I called, there was virtually no hesitation," she said. "They are just a really great bunch of guys."

Around 35 motorcycles -- many carrying a driver and a passenger -- roared out of The Improved Order of Red Men Tribe 84 parking lot on Md. 68 in Williamsport at noon. The riders trekked a course through Williamsport to Spring Mills and Hedgesville, W.Va., then to the Log Cabin Inn in Hancock, where they stopped for a break. Back at the Red Men club, the Red Men Riders provided a picnic lunch while participants took a chance on raffle tickets and a deejay played music.

Hoover said she hoped the event would raise about $2,500.

About 10 employees from Star Community rode in the event.

"That really made me happy," Hoover said. "I never realized there were so many people at work who ride. They seemed to be coming out of the woodwork."

Dianna Mehaffie, 42, of Clear Spring, was among the Star employees who went on the ride. Mehaffie rode with a friend, Jake Shank of Williamsport, but said she hopes to have a motorcycle of her own soon.

"It's awesome that so many people came out and helped," Mehaffie said. "We need to do this. It's tough with the (budget) cuts."

Chad Bonebrake, 38, of Greencastle, Pa., is a member of The Improved Order of Red Men and the Red Men Riders. Bonebrake took his 10-year-old son, Cole Bonebrake, along to the fundraiser. Chad said Cole has been joining him for rides since he was "tall enough to touch the floorboards."

"Cole loves to ride. He falls asleep sometimes," Chad Bonebrake said. "I like to come out and support the rides as long as the money goes to a good cause."

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