#039;Erin#039;s Aid#039; to help injured motorcyclist

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 3, 2005

Although bikers may have a reputation as being tough guys and girls, a motorcycle event next weekend may help change that perception.

Erin Wipert, a 1988 Ironton High School graduate, was severely injured in a motorcycle wreck in March, an accident from which he is still recovering in Cincinnati.

When Rick McKnight and other area bike enthusiasts went looking for a way to help, they figured they'd help by doing one of the things they do best: Throwing some great parties.

Email newsletter signup

"It's just friends helping friends," McKnight said. "We all said 'Let's do something for Erin.'"

McKnight said he was somewhat inspired by Erin's father Jim, who has set an example with regards to charity work.

"Jim, for the last umpteen years, probably 30 years, has raised money for the Special Olympics, and put up a lot of his own money," McKnight said. "He's always been out there helping people. I know Jim, how proud he is, and he doesn't want anybody helping him. But it's time he let somebody help him in return, and that's what we're going to do."

The first event is called Erin's Aid Benefit Poker Run and will take place Oct. 8.

Registrants, who pay $10 a piece, will visit eight local establishments (The Laidback, The End Zone, Illusions, Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, The Auger Inn, Frogtown and Shenanigans) and collect poker cards. Whoever has the best hand by 5 p.m. will win $500 cash.

McKnight says that participants don't even have to travel to the locations by

bike, cars are perfectly acceptable.

Registration will take place at 11 a.m. at the Laidback. The event will also conclude there at 7 p.m. with live entertainment, a 50-50 drawing and a pig roast.

On Oct. 15, McKnight and friends will be partying at the Knights of Columbus, raising money with more live music and donations for Erin.

McKnight's group is also raffling off two lower-arena tickets to Kentucky-South Carolina game on January 21, a Harley Davidson jacket and a basketball signed by none other than Tubby Smith.

Donations can also be directly mailed to Erin's Aid at P.O. Box 448, Ironton, Ohio, 45638.

It's a lot of work for McKnight and friends, but he says it's just natural for the tightly knit motorcycle community to stick together.

"It's pretty common, you've got to take care of one another," McKnight said. "Everybody's got to take care of everybody."