Images of motorcycle gangs reeking havoc is common in Hollywood cinema, however this misconception about bikers is one that is easily dispelled with the Reading Motorcycle Club.The 300 active member group's commitment to community service is one that will be celebrated once again with the 13th annual Bike and Rod Cruise to benefit Gavin Owens of Pottstown on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Owens, 2, has had to endure many major medical hurdles to stay alive in his short life.

His father, Adam Owens, said, "He has a genetic metabolic disorder. His body needs an exorbitant amount of calories (1700) just to keep him going. People think he is a baby because he is only 20 pounds at two years old."

The Owens family often travels to Dupont Hospital in Delaware.

"We just checked out last Sunday and he had to go back in last night," said Adam Owens. "Because it is genetic it tends to affect all other organs like he has intestinal failure and liver problems. He also has to get blood transfusions every two weeks."

From the numerous machines and tubes attached to Gavin Owens, his older sister Madison, 3, and mother Karen are his hospital buddies often staying at the Ronald McDonald house when he is admitted.

The 2007 beneficiary was Boyertown teen Cody Fretz who has Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Many of the members have antique street rods and rarely get a chance to showcase their four-wheeled gems.

Benefit Coordinator Kerry Joffred said, "People come from as far away as New Jersey to check out the event. We get around 700 people who come out."

In addition to the annual drag races on the eight-mile macadam strip, there will be live entertainment by Schuylkill County-oldies band "Timepiece."

"It has been an emotional roller coaster," explained Adam Owens. "We don't know what the future holds for Gavin or how much time we have with him. We will be traveling to Pittsburgh to see if he qualifies for a multiple organ transplant. This trip has to be funded entirely by us so it is hard."

Donations will be accepted on behalf of the Owens family, by sending them to: Reading Motorcycle Club, c/o Bike and Rod Show, 208 Jefferson Street in Oley. For more information call 610-926-3605.

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