Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

25th Annual Bikers with a Mission Ride - Kansas City, Missouri

Written by  May 28, 2014

The 25th Annual Bikers with a Mission Ride to raise funds for the City Union Mission took place on Sunday, May 4. The ride began at the mission as usual, but there were numerous changes from the way the event has been conducted in recent years. There were no outdoor activities at the mission, so the familiar large tent was missing from the parking lot.

Arriving riders registered inside the Mission at separate areas set up for those who had pre-registered and those who had not. The minimum donation was up sharply from last year's $25 per participant to $40 per rider and $35 per passenger with $10 savings available to those who pre-registered. The commemorative 25th Annual B.W.A.M. T-shirts that were supposed to be covered by the registration fee were in short supply, and those who did not arrive early were lucky if there were any available in their size. Breakfast of biscuits and gravy, coffee, and orange juice was provided. Tickets for door prizes had already been drawn, and the numbers were displayed in the cafeteria. Photos showing the history of the event were exhibited. There were a number of individuals present who had participated in the ride every year since it began. One was Bill Miller who has donated beautiful hand-made knives to be used as auction items, door prizes, and fund-raising incentive prizes for every B.W.A.M. ride.

The opening ceremonies began at 9:30 with Col. Teddy Bitner of Cycle Disciples M/C making announcements and introducing the Mission's Executive Director Dan Doty who welcomed the participants. Next was the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Jody Jarrett. A lady named Janet described the changes in her life as a result of her experience at the City Union Mission. Pastor Bob Kaps of the Heart of God Fellowship sang Amazing Grace a capella with the audience joining in for the final verse. With Tanna Guthrie serving as auctioneer, several nice items were sold to benefit the mission. Auction items included a George Brett autographed baseball bat with his baseball card and a package of pine tar; footballs autographed by former Chiefs players Trent Green, Will Shields, and others; a hand-made knife provided by W.M. Knives; a baseball with Royals pitcher Aaron Crow's autograph; dugout seat tickets for a future Royals game; a custom-painted helmet; and a poster of the Chiefs Ambassadors with autographs.

After the opening, the roar of motorcycle engines was heard at the Mission again as the riders headed out on the course that included a check-point at the Valero station in Bates City, Missouri, and ended at Freedom Cycles in Grandview where hot dogs and chicken were grilled and served with cookies, chips, and beverages. There was no closing ceremony, since the usual closing activities had been moved to the opening. However, there was an announcement that the amount raised for the City Union Mission by the B.W.A.M. event amounted to over $22,300 bringing the 25-year total to more than $646,600. This year's top fundraisers were Jim Buckner ($1,125), Dan Irwin ($1,000), and Bill Cordell ($867).  Around 300 riders participated this year. The funds raised are used to help Mission clients with needs over and above what the Mission typically budgets for, including utility assistance, bus tokens, baby formula, prescriptions, dental and medical care, eyeglasses, and much more.

The following is a list of sponsors whose generous contributions helped to make the 25th annual ride a huge success: Bukaty Companies, Humana, W.M. Knives, Burns & McDonnell, Freedom Cycles, Accent Special Event Rental, ALDI, Avalon Specialities, Beverly Godwin, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cycle Disciples M/C, Deffenbaugh Industries, Emmanuel Bible Church, Engle Motors, F.O.R.R Locals 1 and 29, Glacier Ice, Good News Garage Band, Gun-Ko Traffic Control, Haitian American Baptist Church, Heart of God Fellowship, Hub Cycle, John and Jody Jarrett, KC Metro Blue Knights, Kansas City Royals, KC Young Matrons, Krispy Kreme Merriam, Liberty Cycle Center, Mid America Laminating Co, Northland Christian Church, Northland Sonic Drive-Ins, Restoration Riders CMA #371, Road Runner Safety Services, Shawnee Cycle Plaza, Sign-A-Rama, Strasser Hardware, Swiss KE, Tanna Guthrie-Auctioneer, The Commerce Trust Co., Grandview Top Co, and Wheels of Thunder CMA #988. The time and effort provided by the event committee and volunteers is also much appreciated. The Mission welcomes all comments, positive or negative. Any and all observations, opinions, and recommendations will be taken into consideration when planning the 26th Annual B.W.A.M. ride. Contact can be made through the Mission's website.


Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com