by Ashley Flynn
For the past 10 years, Scotty’s Tavern has sponsored a charity motorcycle ride to raise money for Shop With a Cop (SWAC).
This year, the event raised $6,037 to donate to the organization that allows children to spend time shopping at Wal-Mart with a local police officer.
Mike and Corky Hall, along with their families, have organized the event since its inception, after the former owner of Scotty’s Tavern, Roger Prater, approached the two with the idea.
Prater, who passed away in a vehicle accident a few years ago, was looking for a way to give back to his community and chose SWAC to be the recipient.
Over the years, the event has grown from just 10 participants raising $750 the first year, to 168 participants this past August raising over $6,000.
“It’s a day-long event. Starting at 9 a.m., people sign in and we leave for the ride at noon. Rides usually last about 4 hours, and then a couple hours of stuff going on when we get back,” Katie Crace, event organizer told The Paper.
They serve breakfast before the ride, stop at several locations during the ride, and have activities, games and a pork roast after the ride.
They also hand out several awards.
The Oldest Rider Award this year went to Richard Simpson, 68. This award is presented in memory of long-time charity ride supporter John Glass, who used to always take the prize of oldest rider. Glass passed away in a motorcycle accident about four years ago.
This year’s youngest rider was Carter Dials, 7.
Jeremy Lowe and his passenger took the prize for furthest distance, as they traveled 350 miles to participate in the event.
People’s Choice, which goes in memory of supporter Ron Pries who passed away from a heart attack, went to Wendell Smith.
Scotty’s Pick, in memory of Roger Prater, was awarded to Mike Hall this year.
They also have Poker Hand awards and first and second place awards for each motorcycle class.
For the organizers, the event involves the whole family.
“It’s huge for our family,” said Crace, who works with her siblings and parents to put on the event.
Not only do they organize the charity bike ride, but they also attend Shop With a Cop.
“We go out on the day the cops go with the kids and walk around with the officers taking pictures,” Crace said.
Crace enjoys the event because it helps a child in need, and it also gives children one-on-one time with an officer.
“It helps the kids know police are good guys, let’s them know they can go to a cop and they can trust them,” she said.
This year’s SWAC will be Dec. 21. Approximately 100 Wabash County children will receive $100 to buy toys and clothes of their choice.
Business contributors for the motorcycle rally were: CAT Excavating, Brandt’s Harley Davidson, Wabash Valley Chrysler Dodge, Jeep & Ram, Bad Dad Custom Motorcycle Finishes, Millwright Services, The Inn Pub & Grill, Stor-a-way, CKC Paint and Body, Dawes Farm, Stitches by Corky, Wabash Engraving, the Law Office of Joseph W. Eddingfield, and Rick’s Auto Repair & 24-Hour Towing, Bott Mechanical Co., LaFontaine Lions Club, Hall’s Performance, Farr Pike Trucking, LLC., Rebels Pub, Russ Bar & Grile, Bob’s Mobile Smokehouse, Frazier’s Big City Paints, Madd Maddy’s, Una Bella Pizza, Clark’s Fast Mark, Lundquist Appraisals & Real Estate, North Side Carry Out, A to Z Tobacco, Todd’s Corner, The Sweat Factory, Schlemmer Brothers, FAUSTY, Little Hands Big Hearts Daycare, Wabash County ABATE, In memory of Brodey McKinley and Diana Mitchem, Dorais Chevrolet Buick GMC, Nelson Beverage, Wendt LLP, Poole Foods Inc., First Merchant Bank, Ridge NAPA, Ron Green, Get Nailed – Lauren Graf and Andrea Greiner, Five Star Distributing, Get Nailed – Shelly Sutton, Thom’s Cornwell Tools, Elijah Blue Band, Republic National Distribution Co. of Indiana, Bella Bloom Fotos, Passion Photography by Trish and C/S Printing.