Will ride to feed hungry

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By Melanie Knight

You’ve seen the latest headlines gaudily splashed across all the media about the food crisis. In this prosperous country, we usually associate a food crisis with a continent like Africa with its endless civil wars and famines or some other exotic location where a tsunami just hit or some massive mudslide.

Well, it’s time we took a look in our own backyard. According to the Feed the Children Foundation, there are 13 million children in the United States of America who go to bed hungry every night. From the Second Harvest Food Bank statistics on Lancaster County, there are 2,606 children living below the poverty level, or 16.5 percent of all the children in our county. Doesn’t this just defy everything we hold dear and true as Americans? How can our children be starving, especially children in our own Lancaster County?

No one ever said charity work had to be dull and boring. The STAR Riders, Lancaster Chapter 396 of the Star Touring And Riding Association, will be hosting its second Annual Feed the Children (FTC) Bike Rally May 3 starting at Bullet Power Sports.

Feed the Children is the international charity recognized by STAR and last year Chapter 396 raised $1,100 with its first Feed the Children Bike Rally. The Lancaster chapter was fourth in South Carolina and 24th in the United States among STAR chapters for the first half of 2007 for FTC fundraising.

The goal for this year’s rally is $2,000. When the chapter gets a cumulative total of $7,500, FTC will schedule a tractor trailer load of food and household items for distribution in Lancaster.

As a result of the cumulative totals of donations from all eight of the South Carolina chapters, three FTC food drops came to South Carolina in 2007. The Florence, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston chapters hosted the drops. Eligible recipients are screened by a qualifying charitable organization in the area and are given vouchers for the food and household item boxes. The distribution is handled by the host chapter and volunteers from the community, sponsors and other STAR chapters.

This year the fundraiser will be held on May 3 with registration starting 9 a.m. at Bullet Power Sports. First bike out at 10 a.m. with last bike out at noon. All bikes need to be in before 3 p.m. Prize drawings will start at 3 p.m. There will be prizes for the best, second best and third best hands. There will be food after the ride along with prize drawings and a commemorative T-shirt for each paid participant. The cost is $20 per hand with no hand limit.

If you are interested in joining the STAR riders, membership information is available at Bullet Power Sports on S.C. 9 Bypass in Lancaster or by e-mailing Eddie Adams at threeadams@comporium.net.

The local chapter has 20 members and they meet at 9 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month at Ryan’s of Lancaster. Weather permitting, there is a ride after the meeting to different points of interest. The local chapter also participates in other fundraisers sponsored by other STAR chapters or other area organizations.

The current chapter officers are Gene Snipes, president; Greg Helms, vice president; Eddie Adams, secretary and Kathy McManus, treasurer.