TUSCUMBIA — A desire to help the homeless led a local woman to organize a motorcycle ride to benefit the Sunrise Center.

Bikers will convene Aug. 17 at the Natchez Trace Harley-Davidson for a 60-mile ride to raise money for the homeless day center. Cars are also welcome and will drive at the back of the formation.

The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After missing her church’s monthly volunteer dates because of work, Vanessa McDonald was pondering other ways to help out the center when the idea to host a motorcycle ride came to mind.

“I work on the day that they go cook, so I couldn’t help,” she recalled. “But I ride a motorcycle, and bikers are very giving people, so I thought, ‘O.K., I can help by organizing a motorcycle ride.’”

Donation boxes will be set up for attendees to donate items for the Sunrise Center, McDonald added. She said non-perishable foods, hygiene items and socks are needed most.

McDonald is also a regular volunteer for "Rally at the River," and once word got out about her idea vendors she had met through that event began offering their services.

McDonald said there will be about 15 vendors selling items like jewelry, custom fishing baits, handmade cards, home goods and beauty products. C and C Eats and Treats will provide food.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy music at the all-day event. Johnny Holland will kick things off at 9:30 a.m., and DJ Rocker will play a variety of songs from 10:30 a.m. tol about 3:30 p.m. From there, rock band Blind the Sky will close out the event.

Several local restaurants and businesses have donated door prizes, McDonald said, but she is still accepting more.

“We’re not going to turn away any donation of any kind — door prizes, monetary,” she said. “We can use volunteers that day. The center can use volunteers.”

T-shirts, designed by Lewey’s in Muscle Shoals, will be available in sizes small to extra large for $10, and 2XL and 3XL sizes for $15.

A commemorative event patch designed by Big Gurl Designs will also be available for $10.

Patches and T-shirts are pre-sale only, and McDonald said half the cost will go directly to the Sunrise Center.

“I hope that it’s a successful day and that we bring lots of donations to these homeless people,” McDonald said. “This is all about raising money for the Sunrise Center. I want it to be successful for these people. I’m determined. The volunteers are determined."

Attendees will also have a chance to be photographed by Subtle and Slams Photography, which is sponsoring the event.

—kendyl.hollingsworth@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5757. Follow on Twitter @TD_KendylH


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