Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Sid Memorial Run

Written by  July 31, 2005

As Chuck Tapp, Gardner, a motorcycle enthusiast, looked across the parking lot of the Tumbleweed Bar and Grill June 9, he was pleased for two reasons to see so many motorcycles.

Eighty-one motorcycles, their chrome glaring from the overhead sun, were lined up. Riders and many with passengers were getting ready to saddle up and head down the road for a poker run to help fund the Kansas Biker’s Emergency Fund. The fund, started by Tapp, is set up to help motorcyclists who go down by providing them with quick money for medical, funeral, or living expenses.

Tapp knows too well the need for such a fund.

Visibly, Tapp sports a blue sling on his left arm just below the elbow, a nagging reminder of a motorcycle accident on April 3, when he and some of his friends were on an early morning ride that had taken them from Spring Hill through Gardner and west on 56 Highway en route to Cassoday, Kansas, just north of Wichita, a popular motorcycle ride destination the first Sunday of each month.

But the scar people can’t see is the one in his heart. When a tractor turned into Tapp and his motorcycle without signaling, the accident instantly killed his wife Sharon, also known as "Sid."

This event was in memory of her. Sid Memorial Run patches were printed and sold. Members of her family and friends helped organize and run the event along with officers and members of the Kansas Biker’s Emergency Fund.

Tapp was overwhelmed with the number of people that turned out for the event.

"This is a good turnout," he said. "I’m happy with it."

Sid was 45 at the time of the accident. She had been a machine operator for Cramer Products Inc., in Gardner, and had also worked at Heidenreich Liquors in Gardner. She and Chuck were married Aug. 29, 1998.

She had been active in Gardner’s Relay for Life, had a passion for all-star wrestling, and enjoyed her motorcycle rides and her friends. Her children are: Edward Joshua Monnery, Gardner; Justin Charles Monnery, St. Joseph, Missouri; Jennifer Nicole Tapp, Gardner; and step-sons Nathan Charles Tamp and Joshua Michael Tapp, both of Geneva, Illinois.

Her brother Ed Boswell, La Cygne, said he also was taken aback by the number of participants.

"She was my baby sister," he said. "She loved riding motorcycles, and look at all the people that showed up. This is just so neat. It’s amazing."

The biker’s emergency fund began five years ago in Colorado and was founded by Karren Mitchell, said Tapp. He was an original member of that fund when he lived in Colorado before moving to Kansas.

"She wanted to help bikers who went down and get quick cash into their hands," he said. "I hope people here take advantage of what we are trying to do to help them. It’s a small insurance that can provide them a little money during the tough times."

He said there will be several events throughout the year to help raise money for the fund.

Cost is $60 a year to be a member of the KBEF. Members who need to use the fund are eligible to take five percent of the total amount of the fund with a cap of $1,000 for the first year of membership.

That cap will increase $100 per year for each consecutive year of membership.

Tapp is the president of the organization. Russ Wilkerson is the vice president. Andy Musto is the secretary. Charley Mason is the treasurer, and Rich Riggs is the sergeant of arms.

The event began at the Tumbleweed, went to Tracy’s in Edgerton, to Beer 30 in De Soto, to Wally’s in Gardner, and then to a local farm for the final stop where a band performed and food was provided.

“There are just so many people to thank,” Tapp said. “The members of the emergency fund who helped organize and run this event, the many volunteers who are helping, and there are many people who donated items for us to sell.

“I just want to thank all the people who helped put this together,” Tapp said. “The band, food, items to be sold—this wouldn’t have happened without those people who gave.
“And the volunteers who are helping today, I just really appreciate them.”

Story & Photos by Chuck Kurtz