The Hopkinsville Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IMRG) raised money for and donated stuffed animals to the Pennyrile Children’s Advocacy Center (PCAC) during their Saturday morning “Ride for Vibe” event.
Daniel Conner, president of the IMRG, said he had wanted to run a fundraiser for some time, and “God laid it on [his] heart” to aid the PCAC.
“We’re trying to help to humanize the biker culture,” Conner said. “If you’re sitting at a red light, a lot of people will look and they’ll see a group of bikers next to them and they’ll lock their doors or roll their windows up or something like that. We’re trying to help change that stereotype.”
IMRG Vice President Greg Gibson Jr. said the group tries “to give to the community as much as possible,” especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. The group previously contributed to Toys for Tots and Bikers Who Care, but this marked their first big fundraising event.
“With any biker, you talk about how they are with kids, you’re going to hear them talk a lot about them, like how much they care about them and whatnot,” Gibson said.
Chip Fardink, a motorcyclist from Clarksville, Tennessee, said he felt fulfilled in helping the PCAC.
“It’s not about the ride this time,” Fardink said. “Any time you do something for people who need it, you always have that sense in you that you’re doing something good today that’s better than just me. It’s about everybody else, not just yourself.”
The PCAC is a non-profit support agency for youth victims of sexual and physical abuse in the Pennyrile region. Candra Barnett, executive director of the PCAC, said it’s “always moving” when groups request to partner with the PCAC because their work is particularly sensitive.
“Unfortunately, when we talk about what it is that we do, people often stray and don’t want to have that conversation because we don’t want to believe that it happens in our community,” Barnett said. “But it very much does.”
The IMRG met at JPM Performance Powersports for registration and rode roundtrip to Lake Barkely. Myra Sabatino, president of JPM, said it was exciting to host the charitable event.
“It’s a very rewarding thing that [IMRG is] doing,” Sabatino said. “I’m so proud that they are the group that’s doing it, and they’re doing it from JPM.”