MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
With the war against bullying raging through schools across the United States, different groups host events and fundraisers to combat the problem. The Masonic Riders Motorcycle Club is joining the fight with an upcoming motorcycle ride through Jacksonville scheduled for Sept. 1 and 2.
MRMC is a national club, but the Jacksonville, N.C., Chapter consists solely of Marines and plans to ride through the city to raise money to support the local Boys & Girls Club’s mission, said Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Jones, a platoon sergeant with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion and a member of MRMC.
The Boys & Girls Club’s goal is to provide the children of the Jacksonville community with outlets, and positive mentors and role models, said Jones. They don’t have a building yet so everything MRMC raises from the ride will go to the club to help them out.
“(The national club) holds a big charity event yearly,” said Jones. “This is the first year of the Jacksonville, N.C., Chapter, and we want to do something big. We want to do something as a club to make sure we give back to the public.”
Bullying and harassment within schools often grabs media headlines when incidents occur. The Marines in the motorcycle club want to show bullied students support is out there.
“Marines do well fighting the battles overseas, but we want to be able to fight the battles within our own community as well,” said Jones. “What better way to give back to the community? We’re sending a message to the kids that says, ‘We recognize what’s going on and we’re here to help.’”
The event is open to anyone who has a motorcycle. Riding in the fundraiser costs an inexpensive $10. There will be food and refreshments available for anyone who takes part in the ride.
“In addition to providing food, The Orleans House will donate a check from the funds they raise over the weekend along with the money from the motorcycle club for the non-profit organization,” said Jones.
The club is scheduled to have a meet-and-greet session Aug. 31, the Friday before the holiday weekend, to get to know the people involved. The meeting is slated to take place 8:30 pm at the Orleans House.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into the coordination of the event to make sure Labor Day weekend is as successful as it can possibly be,” said Jones.
People who want to donate, but do not have a motorcycle, are more than welcome to show up during the even to contribute a few dollars throughout the day.
“The Masonic Riders Club picks a different charity every year to donate to,” said Jones. “During the next year, this chapter will be raising money for the local Boys & Girls Club so they can use the funds for equipment, programs or whatever else they may need,”
Anyone interested in participating can register Sept. 1 between 8:30-10:30 a.m., with the ride kicking off at 10:30. Jones can be reached at 409-454-4781 for more information.