02PubPenOn April 27, the Hogs & Rags motorcycle rally held its 14th annual fundraising event as part of the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival celebration. Hundreds of cars and motorcycles lined up at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum ready for a day of music, food and a fun, casual ride to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Hogs & Rags rally is the largest motorcycle and car rally in North Carolina and attracts all makes and models of motorcycles and cars for the purpose of raising money for three Fayetteville/ Cumberland County nonprofit organizations, rain or shine. This year, it was made possible by Fort Bragg Harley- Davidson, Rodney Sherrill State Farm Insurance, dozens more sponsoring businesses and organizations, and approximately 40 dedicated volunteers. Thanks to them and this community, Hogs & Rags proudly announced this year’s event raised a record-setting $18,000 for the Fayetteville community.

Last week, a special Hogs & Rags sponsor/volunteer appreciation event was held at Mellow Mushroom on McPherson Church Road. Fort Bragg Harley-Davidson and Hogs & Rags cofounder Bobby Bleecker presented the American Cancer Society and the Special Forces Charitable Trust donations of $6,000 each. Fayetteville Dogwood Queens Kelcie Farmer, Rachel Addison McLeod, Amelia Caroline Cook and reigning Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival Queen Ashley Rooks were on hand to accept the checks on their behalf. Board member Julie Melvin accepted a $6,000 donation on behalf of the Cumberland County Kidsville News Literacy and Education Foundation. I am proud of this organization and the community that supported them.

I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun Memorial Day and took the time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Pete Hegseth said it best: “Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, it’s honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder (that) when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.”

Again, thanks to everyone who made this year’s Hogs & Rags event such a huge success. I am extremely proud to be living in such a kind, caring and generous community. Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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