Motorcyclists support girl, 4, who lost family members to slayings in Quincy

August 05, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Storm clouds roll in Sunday afternoon prior to the start of the Ride for Leia fundraiser. The motorcycle ride departed from the Veterans of the Vietnam War post on U.S. 11 south of Chambersburg, Pa.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Thunder rolled in louder than the motorcycles participating in the Ride for Leia fundraiser Sunday.

About 50 people raised more than $650 in the benefit fundraiser, the start of which was delayed by 45 minutes because of a storm.

Riders departed the Veterans of Vietnam War post on U.S. 11 for Twin Kiss in Quincy Township, Pa., less than a mile from where Leia Cleeves’ mother was shot dead July 27. Her father, Kevin M. Cleeves, is charged with killing his wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s mother.

Jessica Bolan of Five Forks, Pa., had a dream last week she was participating in a motorcycle ride for 4-year-old Leia. She remembers little from the dream, but decided she needed to organize the ride.

The storm delay allowed Leia’s great-grandfather to join the riders, so it worked out well, Bolan said.

A moment of silence was held at the 25-minute ride’s ending for the three shooting victims.

“The people in this area really do care,” Bolan said.

Mike Smith of Shippensburg, Pa., and Chrysty Sheffield of Greencastle, Pa., said they learned about the ride on Facebook. They said they wanted to help Leia on what was their third or fourth organized ride of the year.

Zach and Kayla Gordon of Shippensburg were looking for something to do.

“This is really our first (ride) with other people,” Zach Gordon said.

“When people on their bikes gather, they raise a lot of money,” said Tink Robertson of Harrisonville, Pa.

Robertson works at Quincy Village and heard about the fundraiser through co-workers.

“This little girl lost her family,” she said. “If we as a group can put a little bit of ease into her future, it’s well worth it.”

Ellen Smith of Hanover, Pa., and Frank Giallonardo of Fairfield, Pa., also wanted to contribute to the cause.

“I just felt really bad for the girl basically having no parents now. ... Normally I don’t do (rides for individuals), but I felt I had to do something,” Giallonardo said.

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