Motorcyclists invited to ride for a cure

Published 12:17 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

The message will be much louder than the roar of the motorcycles Saturday during the first Lawrence County Relay For Life ride for a cure.

The ride will start at 10 a.m. and the last bike will leave at noon from the Buffalo Wild Wings in Ironton and travel through Proctorville and Gallipolis ending back in Ironton. The fee is $20 per single rider and $5 per passenger.

“A lot of people don’t see it but the motorcycle community gets behind anything that needs support,” said Debbie Filkins, co-captain of the Faithful Fighters, the team that organized the ride.

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Susan McClellan, Filkins sister, and her husband Frank, also helped organize the ride. Susan McClellan said some businesses on the route of the ride are going to give riders one playing card at each stop or free food. The rider with the best poker hand at the end will win a prize.

For those who don’t ride, there are other ways to show support. A T-shirt advertisement can be purchased which will be printed on the T-shirts given to riders and will be for sale. Door prize donations are also being collected to be given away Saturday. Debbie and Frank Filkins can be contacted to make donations at (740) 532-1603.

“This may sound silly,” McClellan said. “But, that last $20 we turn in could be the $20 to finding a cure. You never know.”

Last year, the Faithful Fighters collected $16,000 for Relay For Life and the entire Lawrence County raised more than $100,000, McClellan said.

The Faithful Fighters started after Filkins’ daughter, now 22-year-old Megan who is now in remission, was diagnosed with Melanoma four years ago and it metastasized to her brain, Filkins said.

“We want awareness, we want people to know what to look for– early detection and prevention,” she said.

Debbie Filkins said Megan came up with the name because she wanted something meaningful.

“She chose it because our faith in God has gotten us through this,” Debbie Filkins said.

McClellan said getting the community involved is important to let those affected by cancer know there are people who support them.

“Unfortunately, everyone has been touched by cancer and this a good way to have everyone get together in memory or in honor of someone,” McClellan said. “We just want o help other people who (cancer) is a new experience for or don’t know where to turn to.”

Debbie Filkins said Relay For Life is a fundraiser everyone should support.

“Cancer knows no age, gender or race. It hits everyone,” she said.

The Faithful Fighters have also sold candy bars, had rummage sales and hosted other fundraising events.

The group is organizing new events including a golf scramble, McClellan said.

The Faithful Fighters are inviting all riding teams and donors to participate.

“We really want to make this something that takes place every year and hopefully it will get bigger from year to year,” Filkins said.