Ironton spreads friendship to Huber Heights man

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 3, 2004

Suffice to say a Dayton area man will never forget the Friends of Ironton. Of course they probably won't forget him, either.

Shawn Newberry from Huber Heights, Ohio, near Dayton, came to Ironton for the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade, but left with keys to a new Hog, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle kind.

Newberry was the winner of the Friends of Ironton's latest fund-raiser, the raffle of a 2003 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster.

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"There are a lot of people who dream of owning a Harley, but who aren't in a position to afford one," said Rick Jansen, co-founder of the Friends of Ironton and general manager of Benjy's Harley-Davidson in Huntington, W.Va. "(And) it was just a really good opportunity to do something for the city."

The event raised more than $4,000 for the City of Ironton.

"We're very proud to (donate the money)," said Rick McKnight, one of the group's founders. "We're hoping to do something like this each year.

"It was a group effort, but Rick Jansen

worked his butt off on it."

The Friends of Ironton was formed six or eight months ago, McKnight said. The group is focused on helping raise funds and awareness to help improve the quality of life in Ironton.

"After moving to Ironton, I heard all about this Megafest flop and all of the better jobs leaving, I thought, man, there's got to be a way for us to clean the place up," Jansen said.

"We're going to turn this thing around. There's no stopping us."