Monday, September 2, 2013

Veteran's Needs: Series No. 3

Today, in this ongoing series about veterans needs, the services available to them in our area, and supporters, Michael Lovas, Communications Director of Spokane Veterans Forum, talks about an annual fund raising event that supports veteran's services in our area of Washington.
Motorcycle Clubs Step Up for Veterans
(Part Three)
By Michael Lovas

Run Whatcha Brung
The "Run Whatcha Brung" event in Old Town has grown into a highly popular affair that features motorcycle drag races, right on the city street, on the weekend of the 4th of July. Each year, the event raises money for veterans’ causes.
The event works like this: two riders line up next to each other. It does not matter what they ride. Sport bikes line up against choppers, racing bikes line up against heavy touring bikes. On the signal the pair ride as fast as they can up Idaho Street. Anyone can enter, and riders consistently get back in line to it again and again. Many do it over and over, all day long to the delight of a cheering crowd.
The weather was perfect this year, warm and clear with just a slight breeze. First to set up their headquarters tent was the Hells Angels, who are a major supporter every year.
Over the next 12 hours, motorcycle organizations from Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon arrived, including:
  • Marines MC
  • Brother Speed
  • Vietnam Veterans/Legacy Veterans
  • Outsiders
  • Free Souls
  • Combat Vet Riders
  • American Legion Riders
  • Dire Wolves
  • BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse)
  • Unchained Brotherhood
  • Soul Patrol
  • Sons of God
  • Sober Riders
 Each time a club arrived, their arrival was announced by a deep, visceral rumble, the kind of guttural assault that conjures up visions of stampeding elephants or King Kong’s wild roar. All day long, other riders arrived and small parties spontaneously erupted into laughter.
The next morning, the drag strip and VIP lounge were set up, volunteers were making last minute checks to the track, and families began lining up to get henna tattoos, ice cream, bar BQ and cold drinks. Staff members from the Spokane Veterans Forum walked through the crowd offering sun block to folks with pink skin. Then, the big event began at 10:00. Two riders pulled up to the starting line, smiled at each other and waited for the starter to give them the signal. 3-2-1 GO.
What didn’t happen was anything you might have expected based on the old biker movies from the 1960s. No pile of empty beer bottles. No terrorizing the crowd. No one got mowed down, run over or accosted.
(Scroll to pictures)

Most importantly, 100% of the proceeds were again donated to Spokane Veterans Forum!

Experience it for yourself next year on 4th of July weekend. 

Mike Lovas, Communication Director
Spokane Veterans Forum
(509) 465-5599

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