XENIA — Chapter F of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) more than doubled their donations for local charities during the 31st annual Buckeye State Rally.
The association is considered the world’s largest single-marque social organization for owners and riders of Honda Gold Wing/Valkyrie motorcycles. This was the third consecutive year Chapter F from Fairborn has hosted the two-day event at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
From June 13-14, there were more than 500 people in attendance with motorcyclists Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois, as well as more than 31 chapters from throughout Ohio.
The host chapter once again supported their main charity, the local Red Cross, through ticket sales for door prizes and a 50/50 raffle drawing Friday and Saturday. This year’s grand prize was a hot air balloon ride for two from Gently Breeze Hot Air Balloons who just celebrated their 26th anniversary of ballooning in Lebanon.
“The last two years we have been blessed to raise $500 and I said I hoped to raise more than that,” said Chapter F public relations Jo Ann Collins. “We managed to raise a grand total of $1,913.40.”
Collins, a Fairborn resident, has been an Ohio Red Cross mass care volunteer for more than 10 years. The local organization assists people who have been affected by disasters, fires, floods and tornadoes.
“I am very pleased and proud. We raised the money for the Ohio local Red Cross and that is where it will go to support Ohio,” she said. “I have been blessed to be an Ohio Red Cross Volunteer and want to tell everyone that if you want to join a volunteer group in your area the Red Cross is one that gives back to the people and is a great choice.”
The second charity Chapter F supports through the rally is the Xenia FISH food pantry. A Chapter Challenge was once again issued where the two chapters that brought the most food got to place a whipped cream pie in the faces of two people who brought in the least of their chapter.
“This year was not lucky for the ladies as two ladies got the pie in the face, but the price was worth it,” Collins said.
Last year, the challenge brought in 1,420 canned goods and food items for the pantry. This year, they received 2,546 items and $800 in cash.
During the traditional closing ceremony recognizing military veterans, present and retired, a USA flag that was flown over the State of Ohio capital was presented, courtesy of Attorney General Mike DeWine. Collins presented the flag to outgoing GWRRA Ohio State Director Lloyd Glydewell.
“There was not a dry eye in the house as we have a lot of veterans who serve or have served, and this just seemed like a very special presentation,” said Collins. “It was presented to Lloyd for his part in supporting the state of Ohio by having our Gold Wing Rally.”
The Buckeye State Rally event also included a guided tour ride through Greene County, safety and educational seminars, field events to test driving skills, a bike show, live local entertainment, along with various food and motorcycle accessory vendors. Gold Wing members closed the rally Saturday with their traditional Parade of Lights starting at the fairgrounds at dark, traveling throughout the area and downtown Xenia and ending up back at the fairgrounds.
For more information, visit their website at ohiogwrra.org.