Rhythm and Roll ride and concert raises $2,500, draws 55 riders

The third annual Rhythm and Roll motorcycle ride and concert on Oct. 24 raised $2,500 for Cure Finders, an area organization that raises money for Cystic Fibrosis research.

Rick Carver, a respiratory therapist with East Tennessee Medical Group, said rainy weather the day of the ride didn’t dampen the riders’ enthusiasm. More riders from Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell’s Dragon Chapter participated than from any other area chapter.

“We probably had about 55 motorcycles,” Carver said. “And we raised about $2,500 this year.”

The riders started off at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, moved onto the Pigeon Forge location of Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Pigeon Forge, crossed over Foothills Parkway to U.S. 129 and came into Maryville at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson.

At Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell in Maryville, Waste Connection had a large garbage truck that had been converted to used for events like tailgate parties.

“We had RMS band playing that night, and they were absolutely fantastic,” Carver said.

Sponsors included Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell, Dixie Iron Riders, the Tennessee Society for Respiratory Care, Waste Connections, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, East Tennessee Medical Group, Sevier County Sheriff Department, Cure Finders Foundation, Inc., and Designs by Pinkie.

Townsend carver Gene Webb is creating a plaque Carver said will be presented to the Harley Owner’s Group Dragon chapter because they had the most riders participating.

“We had a challenge of the chapters, and they’ll receive a Hog on a Harley plaque. It will go from chapter to chapter each year to the chapter with the most riders participating,” he said.

The Cure Finders Foundation was started in Sevierville in 1998. They contribute to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Boomer Edison Foundation and to Dr. Daniel Hassett at the University of Cincinnati who is doing Cystic Fibrosis research. They have raised close to $500,000 this year, Carver said.

Carver said Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system. “The way salt is absorbed into cells is malfunctioning and causes thick secretions in the lungs,” he said. “The pancreas also doesn’t allow enzymes to go to the small intestine to help digest food.”

Carver said there are therapies that are making a difference. “They’re hoping in 10 years it will be controlled. Individuals are now living a more normal and productive life,” he said.

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