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Bikers and drivers can cruise for a charitable cause Saturday

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POSTED: August 26, 2011 9:28 a.m.

Local bikers and car enthusiasts can take a summer drive on Saturday to help bring Christmas cheer to Georgia Regional Hospital patients in December.

The city of Hinesville will host its fifth annual Cycles for Charity ride Saturday to benefit Georgia Regional Hospital patients through the Mayors Christmas Motorcade program.

Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said during a city council meeting last week that Christmas often is the only time of year many of the hospital’s patients receive gifts. The ages of these patients range from 6-90, but the majority of adult patients are between 25 and 55, Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah volunteer services confirmed.

The Cycles for Charity ride, organized by the city of Hinesville, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Liberty County Recreation Department’s Stafford Pavilion off Highway 84. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Bikers and car riders will navigate a 75-mile route from Stafford Pavilion through Glennville and Jesup to Ludowici, confirmed Pam Coleman, who is with the city’s business license department. The ride is expected to last about two hours.

Riders are required to pay a $10 fee or donate a $10 unwrapped gift to participate in the charitable event.

“We do have all types of bikes and car clubs; they’re invited. We do not have anybody pre-registering. There are no RSVPs. We’re hoping and praying for a good turnout,” said Niesha Williams, human resource specialist for the city of Hinesville.

Williams said the city has notified area bike clubs and car clubs, including classic and sports car clubs, of the event.

She said a number of area businesses have donated $100 or more to the event. These sponsors include Ace Heating and Air, Extreme Auto, Blount’s Wrecker Service, Party Package Inc., Arydss Bell, Dug Out Sports Bar & Grill, Comprehensive OB/GYN Health Center, Fraser’s Counseling Center, Low Country Cancer Care Associations, McDonald’s and Coastal Mini Storage.

Area restaurants, such as That’s Italian and CiCi’s Pizza, and Flash Foods are donating gift certificates, and Food Lion will donate in-kind items to the event, according to Williams.

The local area mayors’ motorcade will be held at the Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah. Gifts will be handed out beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, confirmed Yalonde Tanner, advertising and exhibit manager with the Georgia Municipal Association.

GMA began the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade in 1958.  Former Gov. Ernest Vandiver had encouraged the giving of holiday gifts to developmentally delayed and mentally ill patients in the state’s hospitals, according to www.gmanet.com.

There are six regional mental-health hospitals in the state that serve about 3,200 Georgians, Tanner said. Many of these clients have lived in the hospital facility for much of their lives and receive little, if any, support from their families, according to the GMA’s website.

Any gifts not handed out at Christmas are used for client birthdays or given to newly arrived clients, who may need many of the items, the website states.

In addition to Hinesville’s annual Cycles for Charity, GMA member cities Dublin, Vidalia and Sandersville will host a golf tournament Oct. 17 at Riverview Park Golf Course in Dublin to benefit the motorcade, according to www.gmanet.com.

For more information, call Yolande Tanner at 678-686-6239.

 

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