Lake Waccamaw, NC - The engines of more than 20 motorcycles roared as they pulled onto the campus of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina for the 2022 Lake Waccamaw Benefit Ride on Saturday, May 7.
“I see some familiar faces from last year,” said BGHNC President/CEO Ricky Creech in greeting the riders. “Thank you for all your work and all you do for our veterans and all you do for our boys and girls. We appreciate your partnership, commitment, and passion.”
The ride raised $7,806 for the children, youth, and families served by the non-profit organization committed to providing an environment of care that promotes health, healing, and hope.
“I’m new to Boys and Girls Homes, but I’ve heard quite a bit about the riders who participate in this event,” said BGHNC Chief Administrative Officer Alex Everson. “I can’t tell you how excited everyone is for this ride.”
Event coordinator and American Legion Rider from Post 296 Rora Kellis shared the history of the event.
“A little over 13 years ago a young lady by the name of Linda Oldham said something about putting together a ride for Boys and Girls Homes as an American Legion Chapter Challenge,” said Kellis. “I said I’d see what we could do. Evidently, I asked the right people because it came together really easy. Here we are 13 years later.”
The chapter challenge has brought riders from across the state at different times. This year, in addition to American Legion Riders from Vass and Garner, a group from the Combat Vets Association Chapter 15-4a represented Brunswick County. A truck from Daimler Freightliner designed to acknowledge Prisoners of War and Missing In Action was parked beside an RV from the Warrior 180 Foundation.
“These specialty vehicles added another dimension,” said Everson. “Our kids enjoyed the opportunity to check out the designs in addition to judging the bikes for the favorite ride awards.”
For Kellis, the best part of the ride is knowing the impact it has for the children and youth served.
“This thing has always been about the kids,” said Kellis. “I’ll tell you I don’t think there’s a greater thing we can do. They say no man ever stood taller than when he kneels to help a child. That’s what it comes down to. We are their future. This is our village.”
About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina
Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.