Columnist Diana Kuyper
Updated: August 19, 2011 2:37AM
If motorcycle enthusiasts can raise money for cancer, leukemia and children’s charities, why not start a fund to provide emergency support to families of motorcyclists killed or injured in an accident?
Children of Fallen Riders is a nonprofit organization unique to northeast Illinois launched by two friends, Tim Adkins and Joe Dvorak, who lost their buddy, Al Robbins, in a tragic motorcycle crash in 2004.
His family was left to pick up the pieces both emotionally and financially, so Tim and Joe stepped in to provide a support system to temporarily pay for utility bills, grocery bills, kids schooling and other necessities.
“Our goal is to help a rider who is seriously injured or killed and their families because we have seen too many sad cases where there is no one to help,” said COFR President Susie Kleiner, co-owner with Adkins of Leathers 4U in Antioch. “We decided to change all that and start a fund to help our fellow riders.”
The Magic Carpet Ride began in 2005 as a special event for bikers with proceeds from the event going toward the fund. It started with 300 bikers, with 1,400 riders expected for this year’s ride Aug. 28 starting at the Port of Blarney, 27843 W. Grass Lake Road, Antioch.
The funds raised will go to help victims of motorcycle accidents and their families in Lake, McHenry and Kenosha counties. As the fund has grown they have helped a few families outside the area, said Susie.
Registration fee is $20 per rider; $10 per passenger. You don’t have to ride to participate, with $10 providing an afternoon of live music, prize drawings and food. The event starts with registration at 9 a.m. with riders leaving at 11 a.m. for a scenic run through northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, with a stop at Lumpy’s Sports Bar in Salem, Wis., before heading back to Port of Blarney.
Highlights of the day include a motorcycle drop from a 200-foot-high crane owned by Jefco Cranes and helicopter rides provided by Lakeshore Helicopter. A magician will also provide entertainment along with live music all day by three blues bands with a performance by guitar prodigy Tallan Noble Latz.
The work does not end with the Magic Carpet Ride.
Tim, Joe and Susie work diligently throughout the year to raise money for stricken families and the success of the organization greatly depends on the generous donations received from businesses and sponsors. They work with the local community by raising monetary donations, and even goods or services that can be used as prizes or auction items.
It’s not too late to make a donation of raffle items or cash donation to go toward the fifth Magic Carpet Ride. For more information visit the Web site, www.ChildrenOfFallenRiders.com or call Leathers4U at (847) 838-8700.
Diana Kuyper’s column appears Fridays. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.