By Linda Looney-Bond
The Clayton County Boys and Girls Coalition will host a motorcycle ride Saturday, in Morrow, in an effort to raise funds to secure a Boys and Girls Club facility in the county.
The coalition is a subgroup of the Clayton County Boys and Girls Foundation, Inc., which was founded by State Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Morrow).
"We are continuing to raise funds towards our goal of having a Boys and Girls Club permanent location in Clayton County," Buckner said Wednesday. "It's a great way to mentor children, and to give our young people a safe and wholesome place where they can have after-school enrichment programs.
"Right now we're hoping to secure a piece of property that already has a gymnasium and classroom building," she said.
The organization is considering the purchase of a former church facility, located on Reynolds Road in Morrow, Buckner said.
Saturday's motorcycle ride event will begin with registration at 8:15 a.m., at Morrow City Hall, at 1500 Morrow Rd., according to event volunteer and organizer Searless Hathaway. The ride will kick off, rain or shine, at 9 a.m., and will travel a 19-mile route, ending at Lake Harbin Plaza, 2324 Lake Harbin Road, in Morrow, Hathaway said.
She said activities are also planned for participants at the conclusion of the ride.
"We're going to have raffles and motorcycle demonstrations," said Hathaway. "We're going to have the best-looking-bike contest, and they'll get a trophy, and we'll give out a trophy to the person that came the farthest. I've invited people from Florida, Columbus, Ga., Texas, and Arkansas," she said.
The motorcycle club that has the most members present will also receive a trophy, according to Hathaway. The Clayton County Sheriff's Office is a sponsor of the event, she said. "They've been a big helper. They have been helping us with the route and the security for the ride.
"And [Sheriff] Kem Kimbrough - anything that's positive for kids, he's been very helpful in helping us do that," said Hathaway.
"Even if folks don't have a motorcycle that they plan to ride on Saturday, I would encourage them to come out and buy a T-shirt that says 'Clayton County needs Boys and Girls Clubs,'" said Buckner. She said T-shirts will cost $15.00.
The Clayton County Boys and Girls Foundation, Inc., is not affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, according to Buckner. However, she said the facility that the organization is seeking to secure would be associated with the national organization.
"It would be like we're buying a franchise," said Buckner. "We have to have $500,000 dollars in the bank to show Boys and Girls Clubs of America that this community will sustain a Boys and Girls Club," she said.
"There are two separate needs of money - money needed to purchase and renovate the building, and the second pool of money we need is operational money," she said. "The City of Morrow has been very helpful in expressing an interest in helping us to secure the building," she said.
Registration for the bike ride is $20 per bike rider. Registration for bike passengers is $5 per person, Hathaway said.
Pre-registration is available. For more information, contact Searless Hathaway at (770) 289-6364.