Cold weather didnt stop members of the Dixie Iron Riders motorcycle group from raising almost $10,000 for Boys and Girls Clubs of Blount County. The frigid temps did force them to cut their ride short by more than 30 miles though.
The group hoped to have more motorcycles in the April 7 ride. Although only 50 riders showed for the event, those on hand raised more $9,400, group president Mike Kirby said.
"It was about 42 or 43 degrees. We were supposed to go across the Foothills Parkway but we went down Six Mile Road and came over to Montvale Road to Pearson Springs Park. We cut it 25 to 30 miles shorter," he said. "We just had 50 bikes, but we ended up raising about 9,500 dollars. Everybody had a good time."
Once they arrived at Pearson Springs Park, a band played and food was served. "We had a lot of fun," Kirby said. "We froze to death, but it was a lot of fun."
Dixie Iron Riders was started in January. "Four or five people got together and started planning rides," he said. "There was a group of us, six or seven guys who like to ride together."
Group member Bill Kilgore said the money is all kept locally to help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Blount County, which has locations in Eagleton, off Home Avenue in Maryville, and at the MLKing Center in Alcoa. "They have between a 110 and 125 kids every day in Blount County at the Boys and Girls Clubs. Boys and Girls Clubs are not a daycare, its a learning center," Kilgore said.
The staff feeds the students everyday, including breakfast and a snack. In the summer months, they also get lunch. "That eats up a lot of money. They also take trips to Dollywood and Splash Country and Thunderworld," he said. "Places like that give discounts, but it still takes money for transportation."
Kirby said the group has other fund raising rides planned. "Were getting ready to do another one for the Fraternal Order of Police summer camp and Special Olympics on May 12," he said.
The group has 20 charter members. While they arent taking anymore charter members, standard memberships are available. For information about Dixie Iron Riders on the web, go to www.dixieiron.com.