Two area bikers show up for the Bikers for Backpacks event at the St. Louis Area Foodbank / Photo by Bethany Prange
The first Bikers for Backpacks Ride for St. Louis Area Foodbank was a huge success thanks to the wonderful people who showed up to ride, donate or volunteer their time.
Although Friday was cold and rainy, Mother Nature smiled on us on Saturday, shining down with sunny skies and only a slight chill in the air. When we set up our registration table in the Foodbank’s back parking lot, we weren’t quite sure how many motorcycles we’d see that day.
But from 9 to 10 a.m., a steady stream of riders followed the curve of Corporate Woods Drive, steering their motorcycles onto the lot. Before long, the Foodbank parking lot looked like a bike show, with dozens of motorcycles on display.
Before we left our parking lot at 10:30 a.m., we counted 41 motorcycles of various designs, styles and colors. The best part was, the riders seemed to have really enjoyed finding a backpack that either matched – or contradicted – their bikes.
One biker dressed in leathers wore a menacing gray and black skull bandana on his face. He paired it with a bright pink Hello Kitty backpack stuffed with kid-friendly food donations.
Then there were leather-clad cyclists carrying red and blue Spiderman backpacks, boxes of Kool-Aid and even pink and purple backpacks filled with donations.
The highlight was a mystery rider who showed up in full motorcycle gear, but rode a bicycle! He pedaled up to the starting point with a backpack filled with food and claimed he would be getting a head start. Somehow he managed to make every stop on his bicycle. Hmmm?
After leaving the Foodbank, the riders made stops at several establishments before ending later in the afternoon at the Hawg Pit restaurant in Grafton.
Each rider made a monetary donation or brought a backpack filled with kid-friendly food items for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. The Foodbank provides meals to 261,000 people a year in 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois. Of those individuals, 39% are children under the age of 18.
In all, the first Bikers for Backpacks Ride raised $1,000 in cash donations and brought in 49 backpacks filled with 839 pounds of easy-access, nutritional, kid-friendly food.
Helmets off to everyone who made donations, including Mary Beth Bergfeld and her group from UPS who donated 136 pounds and $25 to the ride!
All the food donations will be packed by volunteers and distributed over the next few weeks. In all, the food and funds donated during the ride equal about 4605 meals for hungry kids!
Keep your eyes and ears open for the 2013 ride and pass the word on to your friends.
Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. And please WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES ON THE ROADS!
Trish Jenner is a volunteer coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank