On Saturday, June 1, the American Legion Riders of Col. Jacob Morgan Post 537 in Morgantown will be hosting a ride in bike show and telethon to benefit the VALOR (Veterans Assisted Living Out Reach) clinic, a 501(c)3 public charity which provides nationwide integrated medical care and shelter to Veterans with limited or no access to care, and also provides shelter to Veterans who, due to health or means, are unable to find or keep shelter of their own.
“As riders we like to go to bike shows and other bike events,” explained George Svencer, the president of Post 537’s Legion Riders. “Things like Poker Runs are always popular with riders, but we thought having a bike show would be something different. Plus it is a good way to show off people’s rides.”
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at American Legion Post 537, which is located at 4499 North Twin Valley Road in Elverson. It is the first major event being organized and run by the 35 member group, who just formed in the spring of 2012. Svencer himself is the veteran of many bike shows, has worked for motorcycle magazines in the past covering bike shows, and has 67 trophies of his own to boast of - so he knows first-hand about what it takes to make an event successful.
Svencer became aware of the VALOR clinic when met the Mark Baylis, a veteran suffering from PTSD who heads the VALOR clinic Foundation, at a homecoming benefit event for Marine Lance Corporal Timothy Donnelly, a USMC veteran and double amputee from the Harleysville area, at Zern’s Farmers Market in Boyertown.
The bike show is open to all riders and bikes, and that the Legion Riders are looking forward to hosting an event that is both a good time and a simple way to benefit the VALOR clinic and veterans.
The bike show will be a judged show, with three special guest judges, and will also have awards for Commanders Choice and the VALOR clinic Best in Show. There are trophies for the top two finishers in each of the six classes – American Touring, Metric Touring, American Cruiser, Metric Cruiser, American Sport, and Metric Sport.
“The trophies, which were made by Terre Trophy out of Reading, are absolutely gorgeous,” Svencer said. “The columns on the trophies are black marble with gold spirals, and when riders look at them the first thing they will think is that they remind you of shocks on a bike. There is black engraving on a red, white, and blue background on them that just ‘pops’. We have the legion logo on all of the trophies too.”
Registration for the bike show is from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The judging of the bikes will begin at 12 p.m., followed with a 3 p.m. awards presentation.
“Anyone can enter into the contest,” said Svencer. “The cost to enter is only $10. So just show up!”
Members of the legion, riders and otherwise, will be teaming together to take calls for a VALOR clinic telethon starting at 10 a.m.
“All of the money we raise from the call-ins will go directly to the VALOR clinic,” Svencer said. “We will have a bank of about ten phones and laptops. People who call in give their payment info and we put their donations right into an online account that the VALOR clinic has created.”
Svencer noted that the donations are tax deductible, and that donors will immediately be emailed a receipt or, should they not have email, will have a receipt sent out to them in the mail. The numbers to call to donate to the VALOR clinic are 610-913-7433 and toll free at 1-877-762-8037.
Although it will not be able to host a live remote because of other engagements, the radio station I105 is helping with promotion of the event starting on May 28 and continuing through the day of the event.
The station came on board when Svencer walked into I105’s front office and spoke with employee Wendy Kern, who reacted with great enthusiasm and took the idea to the promotions manager at the station to get the thumbs up.
“I105, Wendy, and (Program Director) Rich Creeger have been truly awesome in what they have done to support this,” Svencer said.
The major sponsors for the bike show are East Coast Biker, Wind Stream, Crystal Springs Water, and Harry’s Tattoos.
The Master of Ceremony for the day will be Eric Kropiewnicki, a figure often seen a bike events in the area who is renown as ‘The Ringmaster’ due to his trademark top hat and fondness for games.
For food, the legion is roasting two half pigs, and plates of food will available for less than ten dollars. Also, the post’s social club will be open to the public for drinks as well (attendees over the age of 21 will get special wristbands okaying them for the purchase of alcohol).
Musical entertainment throughout the day will be provided by the bands Monday’s Mistress and Blue City Blues.
About 20 vendors will be on site, including Boogie Lights, Polaris-Victory of Reading, Leola Motor Trike, the Forget Me Not Foundation, Harry’s Tattoo, Smaltz’s Harley Davidson, Nina’s Apparel (biker clothing), Bike Builder MCS, The Sunglass Guy, American Made Clothes, and Farmers Insurance.
The Legion Riders will be selling dog tag pins, bracelets, t shirts, and other items on the day of the bike show to help support their future efforts. There will also be 50-50 tickets, and a Chinese Auction with three major gifts up for grabs – a weekend townhouse rental at the shore in Delaware, a chartered boat for a day at the shore in Delaware, and a bundle of lottery tickets valued at $150. Other prizes to be had include car wash vouchers, oil change vouchers, motorcycle paraphernalia and clothing.