Motorcycle group raises $12,000 for sick children

By Zakk Gammon - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Most people likely think of large, tough guys when it comes to bike riders. One group, however, takes pride in their caring members and big hearts.

"Man built that place and God staffed it," said War Child Riding Group member Larry "Hammer" Glueck, when describing St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital in Memphis.

For the seventh year in a row, the War Child group is giving a big donation to the hospital. This year, it totals more than $12,000. That's up from last year's donation of $10,600.

"Hammer" says War Child's collections really took off in 2009, with the sale of locally, hand-designed coloring books. Last year, the group raised more than $5,000 alone just from people buying them.  In 2010, with the second edition of the book, rider Chris O'Connell says the group raised even more money.

"They'll donate the five dollars and say keep the coloring book and sell it to someone else," O'Connell said. "So that always makes you feel good. People still believe in helping kids."

Group members say they don't plan on slowing down any time soon.

"We're already talking about number three," Glueck said.

Riders say it's not just about the money. The hospital itself is a moving experience.

"I tell you what. When this big boy here starts tearing up, that's what it's all about," said Glueck.

"When we got done with the donation this time we will have donated just shy of $37,000 to St. Jude since we first started. Our first little donation was just $250."

The group will present the check Saturday morning at the hospital. Those interested in purchasing a coloring book or making a donation to the War Child Riding Group can do so here.

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