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UPDATED | Sound Harley hosts fundraising ride
SMOKEY POINT — Sound Harley Davidson will be helping bikers and law enforcement pitch in on behalf of some very special athletes.
On Aug. 28, Sound Harley will serve as one of five primary starting points for the launch of the Northwest Ride of Dreams and Classic Car Show, presented by Special Olympics Washington and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Bill Southern, director of outreach and public affairs for Special Olympics Washington, visited Sound Harley July 9 with Bothell Police Capt. Bryan Keller, one of the event’s coordinators. Southern expects more than 4,000 motorcycles will make it to the ride’s final destination at the Rotary Park located at 1200 W. Fifth Ave. in Ellensburg, while Keller sees the event as an excellent accompaniment to the Torch Run’s fundraisers for Special Olympics throughout the year, including its annual Tip-a-Cop event whose locations include the Red Robin in Lakewood.
“It’ll be $30 per person to register,” Southern said. “It costs us $600 a year per athlete to send them to their events, and we reach out to thousands of potential athletes in schools and beyond. Special Olympics Washington actually has a small staff, but we don’t believe that our athletes should have to feel our pain, which is why we want to pay for them to go to their events. All the athletes should need to do is compete and have fun.”
According to Keller, the bikes should be ready to leave Sound Harley at 7 a.m. on the day of the ride.
“Technically, though, they can start just about anyplace, the more riders the better," Keller said. "Our goal is to raise at least $75,000, if not $100,000, for Special Olympics programs through this event.”
All proceeds from the event will go toward Special Olympics Washington, and all those who register will receive official Northwest Ride of Dreams and Classic Car Show T-shirts and goody bags.
“This is really exciting and I’m thrilled to be associated with such a first rate organization,” Keller said. “It’s wonderful. I’m also quite proud of my fellow officers involved in this campaign. It’s the athletes themselves that makes this all worthwhile, and the joy on their faces confirms that we’re doing the right thing.”
To register, donate or learn more about the ride, log onto www.nwrideofdreams.org. For more information about Special Olympics Washington and its programs, visit its website at www.sowa.org.