Riding for Turkeys this weekend will give those in need a holiday meal

Riding for Turkeys, a motorcycles ride, helps raise money for a Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of people in need. PROVIDED/(2017)

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Riding for Turkeys, a motorcycles ride, helps raise money for a Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of people in need. PROVIDED/(2017)

Riding for Turkeys helped feed 200 people just through social media posts, word of mouth and a handful of new business-owning friends banding together.

Now that group is up to about a dozen businesses from across Butler County, and they’re ready to feed even more people, said Edd Bannon, the man behind the second annual motorcycle ride that raises money to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for those who are homeless and in need.

INITIAL STORY: Hamilton man, business owners help to feed community’s hungry

“I can relate to having food dropped off at my porch (when I was younger). I never knew where it came from,” said Bannon. “We all know what it feels like to hurt and go through something. I think because of that it’s easy to reach out and help other people. Very easy.”

There were 56 bikes that participated in 2017’s Riding for Turkeys, and Bannon wants to triple that number this year’s ride that starts at noon Saturday, Sept. 29, at Gina’s, 1005 Eaton Ave.

The ride, which is only taking day-of registrations, is $20 per single bike and $25 per double.

With 56 bikes and 80 riders last year, more than $1,300 was raised, which was used to host a dinner at Strikes at Columbia Lane, 954 Pyramid Hill Boulevard in Hamilton. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will be on Nov. 11, and pick-up transportation will be provided.

Saturday’s ride ends back at Gina’s at 5 p.m. where will be live music from Reloaded, Venice Boulevard and Wayne Davis.

MORE: Nearly 200 attend Thanksgiving dinner by Hamilton man, businesses (November 2017)

Participating businesses in this year’s bike ride and the Thanksgiving dinner include: Gina Isgro of Gina’s, Brian Draman of Lug Nutz, Mary Ellen Burdsall of The Drink, Patrick Canaan of the Grub Pub, Crystal Hendrix of Legends, Nate Williams of Mutts Brewery Lounge, Mike Tincher of Speedy’s Drive Thru, Tasha Cain of The Hitching Post, and Scott Pohlman of Strikes at Columbia Lanes.

“It’s a great event as far as feeding the homeless and helping people out,” said Cain, one of the new businesses participating this year. “I always want to try to help anybody that I can.”

Draman is also new to the group of participating businesses and said helping was an easy “yes” for him.

“This is what I want to be a part of, what I want to be associated with,” he said.

Hendrix is in the midst of trying to rebuild her business, which sustained significant fire damage on Aug. 24. Despite her business troubles, she said she "can't imagine not being a part of (the dinner for the homeless)."

“Even with the chaos of everything that’s going on, now Riding for Turkeys is something that’s just embedded in us to make the community a better place,” she said. “Just because I’m struggling, or I’m having a rough patch, doesn’t mean my rough patch is worse than somebody else’s that doesn’t have enough to eat.”

That’s why all of the businesses are involved, Bannon said.

“At the end of the day, these are families,” Bannon said. “At the end of the day, I believe what they would say their family is more important. Their business is what they do, it is how they make a living … but their family at home is a little bit more important.”

And the community — which for this group stretches to all corners of Butler County — is a part of their family, they said.

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RIDING FOR TURKEYS

When: Day-of registration at 10 a.m., kickstands up at noon

Where: Gina's, 1005 Eaton Avenue

Cost: $20 per single rider/$25 per double rider

Food donations: Non-perishable food can be dropped off by Nov. 4 at Lug Nutz, 22 Donald Drive in Fairfield, Gina's, 1005 Eaton Road in Hamilton, Grub Pub, 47 Hancock Road in Hamilton, The Drink, 238 Hensel Place in Hamilton, Speedy's Drive-Thru, 809 N 2nd St. in Hamilton, Hitching Post, 4319 Hamilton-Richmond Road in Oxford, and Strikes at Columbia Lanes, 954 Pyramid Hill Blvd. in Hamilton.

Other donations: Coats, gloves and hats can be dropped off at Strikes at Columbia Lanes, 954 Pyramid Hill Blvd. in Hamilton, Lug Nutz, 22 Donald Drive in Fairfield, and Hitching Post, 4319 Hamilton-Richmond Road in Oxford.

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