More than 225 motorcycle riders rumbled into Strawberry last weekend for the community's first Run to the Pines rally. The charity motorcycle rally, which raised more than $2,000 for the needy children in Pine and Strawberry, was the brainchild of Strawberry business owner Rich Hayward.
Hayward got Michael Kathe, the new owner of the Sportsmen's Chalet, on board and the pair along with Chalet manager Jinjer Carter, who rounded up the sponsors and prizes developed an event that drew bikers from all over the state.
After attending half a dozen rallies, "I thought we ought to have one up here," Hayward said. "Why not? It was fun and brings money for the kids."
Hayward also is a member of the local motorcycle "gang" Strawberry Scooter Scum, which provided most of the red-shirted volunteers for the rally.
The event was geared toward Harley Davidson motorcycle owners, Carter said. For a $10 entry fee, each participant received a meal ticket, one free raffle ticket, a commemorative bandanna, key chain and bottle opener.
A motorcycle show sponsored by Nasty Bikes as well as a poker hand and other games helped lure riders off the open road long enough to spend a few bucks for charity.
In return, Carter handed out custom engraved flasks as top prize for most of the events.
"The Loaded Pistols" played their own brand of rock and country cover tunes to entertain the crowd, and by the end of the day, the organizers had raised more than $2,000 to help feed and clothe local needy children.
"I think we did quite well for our first time," Hayward said.