Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 19, 2013

Bikers ride for charity

TRAVERSE CITY — Old Mission Peninsula residents who hear a thunderous roar outside their homes on Sunday need not be alarmed.

The noise will emanate from hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts cruising up and down the peninsula to raise money for a local charity.

"People always tell us they hear us before they see us coming," said Paul Jarboe, a Northern Chapter of the Harley Owners Group member and a local attorney.

Between 350 and 500 bikers are expected in Traverse City for the 21st annual Ride for Father Fred benefit. The event kicks off Saturday with a poker run, a competition that challenges bikers to collect playing cards at various checkpoints in order to make a poker hand, followed by a motorcycle show on Union Street at 5 p.m.

The peninsula ride is slated to start Sunday at 11 a.m. Bikers will start at Classic Motor Sports on U.S. 31 and wheel north to the tip of the peninsula before turning around and heading for the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Veterans Drive. Roads will be closed along the way for the police-escorted ride.

"It's quiet a sight to see," Jarboe said.

A community breakfast will follow the cruise at the VFW post.

Tickets to participate in the ride cost $20. Jarobe said all types of motorcycles are welcome.

Event organizers hope to raise $20,000 for the Father Fred Foundation, a nonprofit that provides a wide range of assistance to families in the Grand Traverse region.

Past Ride for Father Fred benefits generated about $215,000 total for the foundation, Father Fred Executive Director Rosemary Hagan said.

"We're always so deeply grateful for the support," Hagan said.

Father Fred will spend proceeds from this year's event on back-to-school shoes for local children.

The ride is hosted by the Northern Chapter of the Harley Owners Group.

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