By Taylor Boyd
The 10th annual Bikers for Babies Charity Ride and the first annual Celebrating Life Festival are set for Saturday, August 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bassett Furniture.
Patrick Rusmisel, event coordinator for Bikers for Babies, said the motorcycle charity event raises funds for the Pregnancy Care Center of Martinsville-Henry County. “We’re not incorporated, we’re not a 501c3, we’re just a bunch of guys that ride motorcycles and raise money,” he said.
The festival will include a stage with live music, a play area for youngsters, a cruise-in to display classic cars, and a raffle. Vendors and food trucks will also be onsite. The public is invited to attend free of charge.
Rusmisel said the charity ride will take place during the festival.
“So, at 12 p.m. all the motorcycles and some of the hotrods will leave for a cruise in the countryside and they’ll come back to the festival at about 1:30 p.m. They’ll be gone a little more than an hour,” he said, adding the festival will continue during the ride.
State politicians have also been asked to speak during the festival. The group has asked Sen. Bob Good of Virginia’s 5th District, Republican candidate for Governor Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, and GOP candidate for the 9th District Wren Williams.
“All of the politicians have been asked to speak about pro-life legislation. So, I want to hear what these politicians are going to do to get Virginia back to a reasonable state for reproduction rights,” Rusmisel said.
There are no plans to cancel the festival because of COVID-19, however Rusmisel said organizers will be on the lookout for the inclement weather. But he noted the event will be held rain or shine.
Rusmisel said he is expecting between 1,000 and 4,000 people to attend the event.
While he does not know how much money the group will raise, he said $30,000 was raised during the first nine years.
Donation buckets will be stationed throughout the event. The proceeds of a festival or a motorcycle T-shirt will be donated to the event.
“There will be opportunities to buy raffle tickets. We have items to raffle off like gift baskets, and we have a chainsaw that we’re going to raffle off,” he said.
If anyone wishes to make a donation but are unable to attend the event, a link is available on the group’s website.
Applications are still open to register to ride during the event. The cost is $10 per driver and $5 per additional passenger. The registration fee is due on the day of the event.
To register to ride or as a volunteer, sponsor, or vendor, visit www.mhcbikersforbabies.com.
For more information, call Rusmisel at (276) 734-9585 or Jay Santoemma at (276) 732-4100.