In their world, it might be Harley-Davidson vs. Yamaha, Honda vs. Suzuki. But when it comes to honoring those who sacrificed their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 — and giving a little something back to local first responders — there’s nothing that can keep these bikers apart.
September is right around the corner, and with it the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died, including more than 440 first responders who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center alone.
Local Realtor Dan Turner hasn’t forgotten what those brave men and women did that day, and he is making sure no one else does either with his fifth annual 9/11 Gratitude Ride.
Turner recruited more than 350 of his fellow motorcycle riders last year to raise $6,000 for Pasco County Fire Rescue Benevolent Fund, and he is anxious to top that this year.
“A lot of people, I think, have kind of moved on, so I’m glad we are doing it,” Turner said. “There aren’t too many events that go on anymore to remember the people, and I’m glad to see people on this ride who haven’t forgotten.”
Unlike past gratitude rides, this year’s will start and end at the Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club, 6225 Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel, beginning at 8 a.m. on Sept. 6. Turner will kick off the events with a brief ceremony at 9:45, and then the hundreds of bikers will head to two fire stations in Dade City and Zephyrhills, to thank the men and women there for their service.
After the ride, the festivities will resume at Quail Hollow beginning a little after noon, featuring a free concert from The Greg Billings Band, as well as food, games, vendors and more.
One of the highlights of this year’s event comes in the gratitude ride’s raffle, Turner said. A guitar is available signed by three popular metal bands of the 1980s — Great White, Winger and Slaughter. The bands, which took part in the recent Hairapalooza event in July, also signed a drumhead that will be auctioned off.
For those who like motorcycles more than rock, a $500 gift card from Harley-Davidson also is among the prizes.
“The most important thing that we want everyone to know is that it’s open to the public,” Turner said. “It doesn’t matter if you ride a bike or not. Come out and help us support our fire departments, and remember 9/11 too.”
For more information on the event, visit Facebook.com/911GratitudeRide.
If you go …
WHAT: 9/11 Gratitude Ride
WHO: Pasco County Choppers
WHERE: Quail Hollow Golf & County Club, 6225 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel
WHEN: Sept. 6, with opening ceremonies at 9:45 a.m., and afternoon events beginning just after noon
COST: Free, open to the public
Published August 27, 2014
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