The 12th annual ‘Bikers for Babies, MHC’ charity ride is set for Saturday, August 26 to raise funds and awareness for The Pregnancy Care Center of Martinsville-Henry County
Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the Big Chair in the Broad Street Parking Lot. Kickstands will be raised at 12 p.m.
Organizer Patrick Rusmisel said funds raised at the event will go towards the operating expenses of the care center, a pro-life pregnancy counselor center.
The center is “completely donor funded. All the money they get, with the exception of a few grants that they’ve received over the years, comes from people like us that just donate the money to them to keep them running,” he said.
Rusmisel said the center supports women through their pregnancies and beyond. It provides educational support through parental classes.
“They supply the needs after the baby’s born as far as diapers, formula, furniture, clothes. They even venture to help with employment and housing, pretty much full service,” he said.
When a woman visits the center for a sonogram, Rusmisel said center staff counsel her first and foremost about the love of Jesus Christ
The center staff “take her through the process of pregnancy and birth, and support her through that. They do not refer to abortion, and they do not perform abortions,” he said.
Rusmisel noted the center is also the only place that performs sonograms in the county.
The ride, which has kept a consistent route over the years, will leave Martinsville on King’s Mountain Road. It will go through Figsboro, into the Snow Creek and Sontag areas of Franklin County, and back into Henry County via U.S. 220 South.
The ride will end at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department on Joseph Martin Highway.
“The route is about 53 miles long, and it takes about an hour and a half,” he said.
On average, the charity ride raises around $5,000 each year.
“It’s varied over the years. Last year we raised nearly $9,000, which was our greatest year to date. We’ve had ups and downs. The first couple of years we didn’t make much money,” he said.
Following the ride, Rusmisel said a free barbeque lunch will be provided to all participants, and guest speakers will talk about the pregnancy center and what it does.
“I think (Del.) Wren Williams is planning on being there to talk about the legislative side of reproductive rights in Virginia and the work he’s done,” he said.
Rusmisel added he invited Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Moneta, and Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville to the event, but does not know if they will attend.
There will also be a 50/50 drawing and T-shirts available for purchase.
The event is sponsored by Absolute Machine, BSN Trucking, CSE Incorporations, Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, Norris Funeral Services, Bassett Furniture, Santos Lawncare, and other companies and individuals.
The cost to enter is $10 for a solo rider, $15 for a rider with a passenger, and $20 per full car. A free barbecue meal is included in the cost.
For more information, visit www.mhcbikersforbabies.com, Facebook.com/BikersforBabiesMHC, or contact Rusmisel at (276) 734-9585, or Jay Santoemma at (276) 732-4100.