Local Children to Benefit from Bikers for Bicycles Event
Jul 30, 2015 01:34PM ● Published by Veronica Tucker
Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club is an international motorcycle club with more than 150 chapters in the United States and Germany. The Butler chapter was chartered in 2008, and is made up of firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers. “We were formed so that firefighters who live for helping and serving their communities and love to ride motorcycles could come together and have a good time,” explained Ed Gnoth, president of the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club Station 342.
These motorcycling heroes do more than just ride together. They are also a nonprofit organization that works to help the communities where they live, and one way in which they do this is through a large, annual benefit ride. In years’ past, the ride has supported a local paramedic battling cancer as well as the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. In 2014 and 2015, the group decided to focus its fifth and sixth benefit rides on the residents of Butler County by helping Lizzy’s Bikes, a nonprofit organization based in Mars. Last year, the club raised $2,300 for the organization.
“We started over five years ago, when a local barber was asked if anyone had a used bike for a little girl named Lizzy,” explained Jack Liebau, treasurer for Lizzy’s Bikes. “To make a long story short, we bought a bike and a helmet for Lizzy. The next day, a lady stopped by the barbershop to donate a bike. When we told her that Lizzy already had a bike, she responded, ‘Well, if there’s one kid around that needs a bike, then there are more.’
“Our belief is that every child deserves a bike and a reason to smile,” he added. “If someone is economically disadvantaged, and has a child between the ages of 2 and 12, they simply need to fill out a short application on our website that allows us to get them the right size bike and helmet.”
This year’s benefit ride, dubbed Bikers for Bicycles, is a Poker Run that will take place throughout Butler County on August 22. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the North Park Clubhouse on Rt. 8 and the ride starts at 11:15. It will end at the VFW in Mars, where participants can enjoy dinner, an auction and music. Non-riders who want to support Lizzy’s Bikes are welcome to join the fundraiser at the VFW. Pre-registration is not required, and all are welcome. The cost is $20 per rider, $10 per passenger, and non-riders pay $10 at the door. Through this ride, Fire & Iron hopes to raise $4,000 for Lizzy’s Bikes.
“We want to help kids; we have given away 490 bikes in the last five years, and while we wish it were more, we’ve put 490 smiles on kids’ faces,” said Liebau. “With events like this, we hope to do more.”
To learn more about donating or volunteering with Lizzy’s Bikes, visit www.lizzysbikes.com. The group is currently recruiting new members.