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The most noteworthy thing in November was Veterans Day, but I didn’t hear of many commemorative events in Central Florida. Probably the biggest one was hosted by the two sister H-D dealerships in Lake County, Stormy Hill and Gator Harley-Davidson. This was the 7th year for their tribute to our military troops and they did it up right on November 2. The first 300 to register at Stormy Hill received a nice goody bag and breakfast before heading out at 11:30 for the escorted ride to Gator. Waiting for them were activities and vendors including the Harley Heroes van with volunteers to help veterans sign up for benefits. The elaborately decked-out Ride of Pride truck was also on the premises donated by Schneider Trucking and Chuck Ceccoacci, a U.S. Marine… And left over from Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Bikers for BooBees event took place in Jacksonville the following day at the Puff Lounge with a $10 donation to support the cause. Cancer survivors were welcomed and encouraged to attend at no cost. The Fusion Band provided the afternoon’s entertainment with proceeds being donated to a local organization called the Donna Hicken Foundation… On the 9th, just down the road a few miles, riders and nonriders alike came together at Shovelhead Lounge to throw their money down in support of Tommy Keith who is battling inoperable lung cancer. Tommy’s been a member of the riding community for many years and well known for his talent with a guitar. That being said, there were eight local bands that showed up to perform that afternoon in support of this event. All the proceeds from the day were donated directly to Tommy’s medical expenses… Also in support of the vets, on November 16 the Lake County Chapter of ABATE of Florida hosted their second annual Dice Run supplying aid to the Veterans Organization of Resources & Recovery (VORRH) that provides transitional housing, clinical facilities and community-based facilities to ensure homeless veterans reintegrate back into society. The ride started at the Rainbow Restaurant in Mascotte and worked its way through back roads to end at the Dam Smoker BBQ Hut in Eustis. The winner of the highest dice roll took home a certificate for a weekend down in the Keys… On the same day, riders opened their wallets and their hearts to support a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital hosted by the Fallen Few MC. The ride started at the AmVets headquarters at 11:00 a.m. and ended at the Corner Pub. Along with the poker run, there were some other offerings to enhance the afternoon: a bike and car wash, the bloodmobile, biker games, vendors, food, prizes and, of course, music… At the same time over in Melbourne, riders registered at the American Legion Post 81 for the 2nd annual Wild Dogs for War Dogs Poker Run. The ride made several stops before ending at the American Legion Post 117 in Palm Bay. Proceeds from this worthy event will be donated to active Military War Dogs and their handlers. For more info, go to Facebook and search for “Wild Dogs For War Dogs”… The next day, Sunday the 17th, in New Port Richey the Suncoast Chapter of The Brotherhood hosted a Christmas in November benefit at the VFW Post 6180. This was a family-friendly event with the admission being a new, unwrapped toy or a $5 donation. Santa and his lovely wife were in attendance for the afternoon and kids received free chicken nuggets. All the proceeds and toys were donated to the Pasco County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association… The Christmas spirit must have been catching on the west coast that day ’cause the Sarasota Chapter of H.O.G. and Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson also held their 16th annual Great Teddy Bear Run to support K.I.D.S. by the Sea, an organization supporting children battling cancer. Just $15 a head guaranteed a spot in the parade that started at University Center in University Park and ended at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. At the end location there was a good selection of food and beverages, as well as vendors and a bike rodeo. For more info on this great event for next year, go to www.greatteddybearrun.com… Hearts were warmed as well that day here in Orlando when Fire & Iron MC hosted the NeMours Promise Ride to benefit the new children’s hospital. Registration was held in the hospital’s parking lot from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. with a light breakfast being served onsite. After leaving the hospital riders made stops at East Lake Fish Camp, Airport Ale House and Johnny’s Fillin’ Station before ending at the Historic Factory location at Orlando Harley on 37th Street where the main parking lot was set up for the party with food and entertainment… And my old, cold heart was heated up a little that afternoon when I went out riding and rolled into OB’s in DeLand after seeing a number of bikes in the parking lot. Turns out the annual Panhead & Knucklehead Show was slated for the afternoon. By the middle of the afternoon there were a couple hundred people enjoying the beautiful weather and the old bikes. That’s it for 2013; wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! Ride safe.



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