More than 200 riders came out Sunday to help two local causes.
Traveling a route of more than 100 miles throughout the Tri-State Area, 225 riders on 155 motorcycles took part in the third-annual Ride for a Reason Sunday, held by the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club W.Va. Chapter VI and WTOV-TV9. Proceeds for the event are divided between the Red Knights' Victims of Fire Fund and WTOV-TV9's Coats for Kids program.
Participants started the ride in New Cumberland this year, with motorcycles filling the field next to the New Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department.
Even before the group set off, organizers said the number of participants had grown from previous years.
"I know we surpassed last year," Red Knights Secretary Fred Marsh said, noting there were 70 riders pre-register and many more who showed up Sunday to take part. "We have people here from Cleveland; Johnstown, Pa. and Sistersville."
One of those visiting riders was Eldon Mickel, of Red Knights Pennsylvania Chapter 22 from Johnstown, Pa.
HELPING THE AREA — More than 200 riders traveled across the Tri-State Area Sunday for the third-annual Ride for a Reason Tri-State Poker Run. The yearly event raises money for the Victims of Fire Fund and Coats for Kids. -- Craig Howell
CHECKING OUT THE BIKES — Riders look over the motorcycles in New Cumberland Sunday prior to kicking off the third-annual Ride for a Reason. More than 200 people took part in this year’s event, which raised money for the Victims of Fire Fund and Coats for Kids. -- Craig Howell
AFTER RIDE PARTY — Participants gathered at Krazy Bout Sportz in Weirton following the event for dinner, music and prizes -- Craig Howell
Mickel explained his chapter has a ride every July and he and his wife like to look around to see what activities other chapters hold and take part if it's close enough for them.
"We just wanted to come down and support them," Mickel said, adding he and his wife rode three hours to be there Sunday.
WTOV anchor-reporter Kelly Camarote also was on hand, thanking those gathered.
"I am so proud to be here," said Camarote, who also took part in the ride.
She told the crowd of the people who had been helped through the funds raised by last year's ride, including families who have lost their homes and even loved ones.
The Victims of Fire Fund began in 2009 and has helped families who have suffered losses from fires to purchase clothing, food, lodging and any other essential need to help them.
Coats for Kids began in 1993 in conjunction with eight Ohio Valley Salvation Army units. In 2010, the program raised more than $35,000 to purchase coats for 600 children who otherwise would not have a decent coat in the winter months.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)