Hogs & Rags isn’t your typical motorcycle rally for many reasons. The main one being that it involves both motorcycles and cars (mostly convertibles). Some of the others include a stop for a hearty country breakfast at Rockin’-A-Ranch, a police-escorted ride the entire 118 miles and a huge lunch and entertainment at Barefood Landing in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s a day filled with excitement food, fun and camaraderie that benefits three great local organizations: the American Cancer Society, The Green Beret Foundation and the Kidsville News Literacy and Education Foundation.
The Hogs & Rags Rally is a sanctioned Dogwood Festival event and will actually start April 22 with Fayetteville organizers hosting a welcome party at Mac’s Speed Shop on McPherson Church Road. Fayetteville’s Mayor Nat Robertson and his wife, Kim, will “meet & greet” local riders and greet out of town guests. The Robertson are motorcycle riders and will lead the ride the next day on April 23.
The Hogs & Rags rally started 11 years ago as a way for friends (not all of whom had motorcycles) to enjoy a day together on the road. Today, it has grown to be the largest area motorcycle event and one that is anticipated each and every year. Gardner Altman is one of the founders of Hogs & Rags and he’s looking forward to the ride. He’ll be there in his 1968 Cadillac convertible.
“I’ve been really surprised by the support and reception this event receives from the community,” said Altman. “Not just the bikers and cars that participate every year, but the entire community — businesses, people who come out to watch the ride, volunteers and the wonderful hard working team members — the support is broad based. It’s been a tremendous success — more than I ever envisioned. The purpose is to have fun. Any time you bring people together and they have fun and they come back.”
Registration begins at 7 a.m. and runs through 9 a.m. at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. It is recommended that riders don’t wait until the last minute to show up. There is plenty to do and see prior to the ride. Including the introductions of the Fayetteville Dogwood Queens. Wendy Rogers, one of the event organizers said, “We do a safety briefing before the ride so that everyone knows to obey the rules and stay safe along the way. Amazingly, we are escorted all the way by the dherriff’s departments from each county that we pass through.”
It’s kickstands up at 9 a.m. as the group departs from the ASOM for Rockin-A-Ranch in White Oak with the Robertson’s leading the way to the full country breakfast at the ranch.
“I think the energy and enthusiasm is a lot of fun,” said Altman. “My favorite thing is when I am at my farm (Rockin’ - A- Ranch) and see all the motorcycles and cars come riding by. All that adrenaline and energy is exciting.”
The group is back on the road at 10:45 a.m heading to Wild Wings Café where they will arrive two hours later for lunch, entertainment, prize raffles to top off the day’s events. After the festivities and fellowship, Hogs & Rags adjourns for another year leaving everyone free to enjoy the afternoon in Myrtle Beach or have a casual ride back home to Fayetteville to enjoy the Dogwood Festival and the Saturday night concert at Festival Park.
Traditionally, the Hog & Rags Rally welcomes bikes of all kinds as well as trikes, convertibles, muscle cars and street rods. The event has grown every year.
“If you come one year, chances are you will be back,” said Rogers. “It only takes one time. It is so much fun that you just can’t stay away the next year.”
Last year the Hogs & Rags Rally raised and donated more than $15,000 to three local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
The American Cancer Society helps “people stay well and get well, find cures and fight back against cancer.” It’s been the goal for more than 100 years and will continue to be a priority as the organization fights to save lives and create a world with less cancer.
About 2.5 million volunteers, along with professional staff work tirelessly each day to fight back and find cures for cancer. They do this by helping people stay well, which includes developing guidelines for screening tests, developing nutritional and physical activity guidelines, creating personal health action plans and more. Helping people get well is also a priority and the American Cancer Society plays a role in this with a hotline to answer questions and provide resources. The organization also has more than 120 sites at hospitals and treatment centers around the country. Finding cures plays a vital role in the fight against cancer. Find out more about the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
The Green Beret Foundation provides immediate and long-term support to wounded Green Berets, their families and the families of the fallen. Specifically that means when a Green Beret is injured in the line of duty, the Green Beret Foundation sends him and his family a check for $1,000 and essentials needed for a hospital stay. Sometimes it takes more than a short hospital stay for a soldier and his family to recover. The Green Beret Foundation is there to support them during this time, too. The organization supplements care that the Veteran’s Administration offers by paying for treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury and PTSD, laser nerve therapy and adaptive and recovery equipment.
Gold Star families have a friend in the community in the Green Beret Foundation. The organization covers unfunded funeral expenses and long-term support to the families. It also hosts events like reconnect weekends to help foster closeness and build bonds that are critical to healthy families. The Steel Mags program offers support and provides access to resource, advocacy and guidance to help wives, widows and caregivers of Green Berets. Scholarships are another service provided by the foundation.
Green Berets transitioning out of the military can also look to the foundation for tools, training and support to help them succeed in the civilian world. To date, the Green Beret Foundation has offered financial support to more than 500 Green Berets and assisted scores of families. This organization has given more than $4 million to support the Special Forces community. Find out more about the Green Beret Foundation at www.greenberetfoundation.org.
The Kidsville News! Literacy & Education Foundation seeks “to improve literacy, education and character development among America’s youth by providing support for various early learning and literacy-based initiatives nationwide.” The Kidsville News Literacy & Education Foundation will approve grants to qualified projects and institutions that endeavor to instill strong reading and education skills and good solid character development traits in America’s youth.” The Kidsville News Literacy & Education Foundation awards grant to qualified organizations for the purpose of promoting education and improving literacy among America’s youth. Find out more about the foundation at www.kidsvillenewsfoundation.com.
Hogs & Rags registration is $50 per person and includes a collector’s T-shirt, breakfast, lunch, door prizes and a $2,500 cash raffle. Register early at http://hogsandrags.com/pdf/reg_form_2016.pdf. For more information, call 818.0458.