JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- A local motorcycle group named Team 421 hosted a group ride and fundraiser on Sunday to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The fundraiser was held at Kiwanis Park, where motorcyclists from across the Tri-Cities came out to support children at St. Jude.
Team 421 supports needs in the community with fundraisers like this. Heather Ward is the event host and helped organize Sunday’s event.
“We had a St. Jude’s mom, Katelyn Baker, she actually reached out to us last year, but we just ran out of season, we ran out of good weather,” said Ward. “So this year, we’re making it our mission and it was going to be one of the first things that we did.”
The fundraiser had motorcycle stunts performed by professionals, raffle tickets and T-shirts for people to purchase. All the proceeds were given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Ray Queen, Team 421’s founder, said he’s excited to show his support.
“[We came] to show that we can raise money and come together as motorcycle people, and let’s help a kid, let’s save a life, because they need us,” said Queen.
Professional stunt riders came out to put on a show for the kids and the crowd. ‘I Don’t Care Kitchen’ food truck was also at the event serving snacks to supporters. The fundraiser had a good turnout, Ward said.
“It’s been amazing, it’s more than anything we could have ever dreamed of being, and we’ve still got quite a bit of time go and the donations just keep pouring in,” said Ward. “All the money’s going to St Jude’s and without different people doing things like this, we wouldn’t be able to save the kids the way they do.”
The event also raised awareness for motorcyclists on the roadways. Organizers were selling t-shirts that read ‘Don’t ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.’
“If you’re out here raising Cain, you’re going to become an angel and you’re going to have a grieving family, so the best thing to do is ride the speed limits, don’t break the laws don’t go faster than your angel flies,” said Queen. “So this event is also supporting Saint Jude, but it’s also raising awareness.”
Queen said they want to make people more aware of bikers on the road so they’ll always be on the lookout, potentially saving a life.
Organizers said they are hoping to make the Lids for Kids fundraiser an annual event.