bikers for bridges

FOR A CAUSE — Bikers prepare to depart during a previous year's Bikers for Bridges. This year, a car show will be added to the event.

Bikers for Bridges is returning for the 13th year to raise funds for a local nonprofit, and this year’s event has been beefed up with the addition of a car show.

Now, car and motorcycle enthusiasts will merge to raise funds for Bridges Outreach. Event organizer Doug Newman is hoping it will be a success as last year’s event was a rain-out, and COVID-19 has affected fund-raising efforts for nonprofits this year.

“I’m absolutely excited for this year because we’re behind a little bit because our normal donations need to go up a little bit. Hopefully this will help,” Newman said. “We’re super excited for this one and to help out Bridges.”

Despite last year’s rain-out, the show went on with only about 20 bikers, raising around $2,000 for Bridges Outreach. This year, Newman hopes to exceed that.

Though the event always includes a motorcycle ride, it’s kicked off with a block party outside of Walt Moss Barbershop in downtown Kokomo to give riders and non-riders alike a chance to participate. This year’s Bikers for Bridges is slated for Sunday, Sept. 20, and it starts at 12 p.m. DJ Pugh will entertain, and there will be a number of singers performing live. Other highlights include free pizza and drinks at the barbershop, coffee provided by Christian Motorcycle Association, a silent auction, and a blessing of the bikes. In the county lot across the street, an inaugural car show will take place.

The police-escorted motorcycle ride will begin at 1:30 p.m. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 50 bikers.

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Now in its 13th year, Newman said it’s an “honor” to continue to organize the event that raises funds for an important cause. The money raised, he said, makes a big difference in the lives of the kids who are a part of Bridges Outreach, as the funds go to support field trips, retreats, and camps throughout the year.

“The work they do with the kids is amazing, and they’ve added to the program. They’re touching more lives. This is bigger than brick-and-mortar. They’re actually right there face-to-face with the kids, so that’s bigger than any kind of building you can build,” said Newman. “They’re affecting the lives of children. We get excited about it. They do a lot of good.”

As long as people continue to support the event, Newman said he will continue to put it on.

Travis Taflinger, a director with Bridges Outreach, said he was thankful to have support from the biker, and now car, community.

“The biker family is so generous, and they love helping out our community,” said Taflinger.

In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle and some “special surprises.”