JENKINS TWP. — Law enforcement officers and others will be roaring through the mountains and valleys of northern Luzerne County on Saturday to benefit their brothers and sisters in need.
The Gunners Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club is hosting the second annual Project Fallen Ride, which will begin and end at the Susquehanna Brewing Co. on Main Street, Jenkins Township.
The 40-mile ride will run through communities such as Suscon, Plains Township and Bear Creek. Registered riders pay a $20 participation fee, which includes food, entertainment, a tour of the brewery and beer tasting at the end of the ride.
And the proceeds go to a worthy cause.
“There are plenty of benefits for those who have fallen in the line of duty, but never anything for those who put their lives on the line for the community and have fallen on hard times,” club President Bill Brennan explained last week.
“We wanted to do something to help those in the community who put their lives on the line every day,” he said.
Last year’s ride raised about $2,500, and the club used the money to help six families of law enforcement officers, Brennan said.
One of the families is that of a corrections officer who was injured in a crash involving a drunken driver while on his way home from work at State Correctional Institution-Retreat in Newport Township.
Another family helped was that of a correctional officer who lost his leg in a motorcycle crash on his way home from work at SCI Frackville.
“Last year’s ride was tremendous. We had 75 bikes and it was the first ride our club ever ran,” Brennan said.
Most of the club members are ex-military, firefighters, emergency medical service responders and members of law enforcement including police officers, sheriffs, deputies, constables and corrections officers.
Riders from clubs as far away as St. Louis are expected to participate this year.
Those who can’t participate in the ride on Saturday but who would like to support the cause can do so as a “Phantom Rider,” Brennan said. They can send the $10 passenger fee along with a stuffed animal.
The stuffed animal will ride with someone and then be distributed to a police department, fire station or ambulance company to be given to a child in need of comfort whom a first responder might encounter.