uac041112001.jpg Now in it’s seventh year, Hogs & Rags is not only a great time for everyone involved, it supports a great cause — several, in fact. It’s not just for Harleys and muscle cars either. It’s for everyone; and it benefits the American Cancer Society, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and Kidsville News!. This year, Hogs & Rags takes place on April 28. It’s a sanctioned Dogwood Festival event that people look forward to each year.

Wendy Rogers is one of the event organizers. She got involved about three years ago and had such a great time that she plans to be a part of the event for the foreseeable future. She loves to ride, and as President of the Steele Angels, a girls-only motorcycle club known for it generosity and compassionate works in the community, it was only a matter of time before she got involved with Hogs & Rags.

“I saw what a good group it was, so I started going to the meetings to help with advertising,” said Rogers. “The quality of the people who come to this ride is just great — fun, social and friendly.”

The day starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, where riders have a quick breakfast of doughnuts, coffee and juice. Registration lasts till 9 a.m. Novices have nothing to fear, the ride is broken up nicely to allow for water breaks, nourishment and leg stretching along the way.

“We leave the museum and ride to the Rocking A Ranch for a buffet breakfast,” said Rogers. “And then we leave the ranch and ride halfway to Myrtle Beach — we stop in Chadbourn for a water break.”

The next stop is Landry’s Seafood House at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where live music, entertainment and a reverse raffle await. Once everyone makes it to Landry’s, there is something new added to the event this year — a bike show. According to Rogers, riders are invited to enter their bike in the show and be a part of the fun at the end of the ride.

“That is something we just started this year. It will probably be around 2 p.m.,” said Rogers. “But this event is for more than just Harley riders and convertibles. We want all makes and models of cars and all make and models of motorcycles to come out and enjoy the event.”

Because this is such a popular event, the organizers have coordinated with police departments and sheriffs along the way. The ride is fully escorted and Rogers noted that there is a briefing at the beginning, which covers standard safety procedures for riding in large groups. It’s organized and well run, so that even new riders feel safe being a part of something this big. In fact, the event has become known for its size in towns along the route.

“They stand out there and wait for us and wave,” said Rogers. “Especially the kids. It is like a big parade to them.”

In addition to a great time, participants can feel good knowing that they are supporting several worthwhile causes.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has a mission to: 04-11-12-hogs-and-rags-pic.jpg

• Provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment.

• Provide for the education of physicians and other healthcare professionals.

• Conduct research to discover new knowledge that improves the quality of care and quality of life of children and families. 

This mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect, disability, national origin or ability of a patient or family to pay.

Find out more about Shriners Hospitals for Children at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

The American Cancer Society:

Together with millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has 12 chartered Divisions, more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities. Find out more about The American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.

Kidsville News, Inc. is a fun, educational resource for children grades K-6th grade, parents and teachers. With nationwide circulation of over 1.2 million, Kidsville News is sweeping the country. Kidsville News! is a monthly children’s newspaper with all of the typical features you would expect in a paper-articles, recipes, movie reviews, an art column, plus activities such as word searches. There is also a monthly “Finish the Story” contest that encourages kids’ creativity. The paper is published in more than 30 regions across 16 states. Most of the articles are of interest to a general children’s audience, and each issue contains locally specific content as well, including a community calendar. The newspaper is free of charge, and is funded by family-friendly advertisements for local businesses. It’s a nice resource for people in the areas served and others who are able to get their hands on an issue. Kidsville News! was awarded Parent’s Choice Award in 2008 and again in 2012. It is the first children’s educational resource to ever receive this award.

Hogs & Rags organizers are excited about having a great time, but in the end, they are looking forward to helping others. “We hope to raise $40,000,” said Rogers. “We have to pay out for food and things, so that won’t be what we can give away, although it would be nice if we could.”

It costs $50 for each entry, $30 per additional rider. Contributions are welcome. All makes and models of bikes and cars are welcome and encouraged. Find out more at www.hogsandrags.com.

Photo: Hogs & Rags starts at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum with coffee and doughnuts. 


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