Bike event benefits Special Olympics
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent June 28, 2013 2:12PM
Missy Miller, president of Sons of Thunder, offers a blessing before bikers take off June 15 from Sunset Hill Farm County Park for a fundraising ride for Porter County Special Olympics. Bob Fry, Porter County representative for ABATE, which sponsored the ride, is to Miller’s left. | Post-Tribune photo
More information on Porter County ABATE can be found on Facebook. For more on Porter County Special Olympics, go to www.porcoso.org.
Updated: August 2, 2013 6:22AM
The weather was gray and damp but spirits were strong for Porter County ABATE’s 23rd annual Ultimate Bike Show, which for the second year in a row benefited the county’s Special Olympics program.
The two dozen or so bikers who braved the weather planned a 70-mile loop from Sunset Hill Farm County Park and back on June 15. Food and merchandise vendors, a beer garden and live music also were part of the fundraiser.
John King, a member of the parents’ board for Special Olympics, also is a member of ABATE, and the two organizations often help each other out. ABATE, for example, planned on handling parking for Livin’ It Up, a music festival in late June put on by King that also benefits Special Olympics. King also got a couple bands to play for the Ultimate Bike Show.
“It’s kind of a win-win for both of us,” King said. “I try to help ABATE out whenever I can, and they help me out, so it works well for both of us.”
One of the traditions of the ride — and many group rides — is a blessing before the bikers take off. Missy Miller, president of Sons of Thunder, the local chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, offered that benediction for the ABATE ride.
“Basically, if it’s a bike event, one of us is there and if we don’t do an entire blessing, we are there to bless individual bikers,” she said, adding the blessing is non-denominational. “Some of the people who are considered ‘non-Christian’ will want a bike blessing.”
The blessings are typically for safety, awareness and protection, for both the bikers and other drivers on the road. Miller also asked for blessings for the Special Olympics before the ABATE ride.
“God, get everyone back here safe and give everyone a blessed day,” she said before the ride began.