Motorcycle ride benefits Boys and Girls Club in Wis. Rapids - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Motorcycle ride benefits Boys and Girls Club in Wis. Rapids

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- Engines revved Sunday when a close-knit Wisconsin Rapids motorcycle community got together to do what they love for a cause.

It was the 20th annual Fun Ride to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids.

"This kind of started as a small venture with very few motorcycles and has grown into a great, big annual event that's now been going on for 20 years," said the Club's Executive Director Robert Wefel.

This year, organizers decided to lead the 200 bikers on a new route.

"We'll actually drive straight through Wisconsin Rapids with all these motorcycles, loop around and wind up back at the Boys and Girls Club," Wefel said.

Bobby Donahue, owner of Donahue Super Sports in Wisconsin Rapids, founded the event and always rides at the front of the pack.

He says there's no better feeling than cruising through the city he loves and ending up at the Club he cares so much about.

"It's an adrenaline rush that very few things in life can duplicate, just to think that behind you are 200 or 300 of your best motorcycling friends all out there raising money for a great cause," Donahue said.

At first glance, riding motorcycles might not seem to fit with the Club's mission. But Club president and veteran rider Jill Steckbauer has something to say about that.

"The Boys and Girls Club wants to give every child the opportunity to succeed, and just like motorcycling, there's opportunity to succeed at any demographic age 16 or older," she said.

She sees similar values in the Club and the Wisconsin Rapids motorcycling community.

"Everybody here is a family," Steckbauer said. "Every biker is out to help their fellow biker."

"We're trying to represent what we really are: a bunch of good-hearted folks trying to do good things for good people," said Donahue.

The ride makes a difference.

"Events like this are a big part of our annual picture of raising enough funds to serve all those kids in the community," said Wefel.

The good cause also helps the riders shed the image of "bad boy bikers."

"When I went on this ride for the first time over ten years ago, I was scared to death," said Steckbauer.

Organizers say they raised about $10,000 that will go toward their work of serving 400 children a day during the school year.
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