Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tying the Knot Main Stage

By Mike Elliott and Mary Jane Savery of Missouri

Forty years of riding and I finally found someone who enjoys riding as much as I do! Mary Jane and I met 3 years ago on match.com, we knew right away we were soul mates.  After a year of riding behind me, Mary Jane took the MSF course and bought her first motorcycle, an 883L Sportster. We rode to BBB last year for our first time.  We had such a great time riding and hanging out on Dickson Street that we decided to do the same this year.

At last year's rally, we met a couple from Louisiana who were staying in our hotel.  They married during the rally, but not at the event.  We thought that sounded like a great idea, so we checked into getting hitched in Arkansas and the prerequisites. Then we had a brainstorm and inquired about having the ceremony at BBB. A resounding yes was the reply. My sister and brother in law married at a rally in Georgia 21 years ago where I was the best man. They are going to be our best man and maid of honor this year.

This year is even more special as Mary Jane has stepped up to a new Fat Boy and is looking forward to tackling some of Arkansas twisties that we didn't get to ride last year.  With friends coming in, it is sure to be very memorable.  This will be our second trip to Bikes, Blues and BBQ, and we are going to get hitched on Friday at 6:10 pm on the main stage! We are very excited and looking forward to celebrating with all our Brothers and sisters.


Bikes, Blues and BBQ would like to congratulate Mike and Mary on their upcoming marriage and wish them many years, and miles, of happiness.  Life is good!

If you would like to share your Bikes, Blues and BBQ story with us, please send to socialmedia@bikesbluesandbbq.org 


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Boys & Girls Club: A BBB Charity

"No other event brings together people of such diverse cultures, economic conditions, and ages for the common purpose of having a goodtime and helps out some great organizations in the process.”  -Autumn Hendrix, Development Coordinator

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO

Established in 1941 as a "Boys Club," the Boys & Girls Club of Fayetteville has been at the forefront of youth development in Northwest Arkansas for the better part the last century.  The organization was known for many years as the Fayetteville Youth Center, but re-affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in 1999.  In September of 2003, the doors to the new Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club opened, providing our community’s youth and families with a state-of-the-art facility to take part in recreational, educational, character building and family activities.  The Club serves our community through memberships, organized sports, instructional programming, meetings, civic gatherings, birthday and holiday parties and community wide special events.  The Club is designed to bring families from diverse backgrounds together in a positive social environment.

Our mission is to be a resource for families to improve the quality of their lives through the development of youth in a safe environment. Although, our target population is youth between the ages of 6-18 with an emphasis on outreach to those in at-risk environments, we also strongly encourage family interaction and involvement, as it is our belief that we can have a positive impact on our youth if we can impact the entire family unit.

The Boys & Girls Club of Fayetteville provides a variety of youth programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership; Education and Career; The Arts; Health and Life Skills; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. We also provide free community-wide events which strengthen the community and a membership scholarship program is available for those community members with a financial need.  

BBB FUNDING AND WHO IT HELPED

The Club received our most recent funding from BBB to assist with our Outreach Program.  The mission of Outreach is to assist low income children living in public housing units in the Fayetteville area.  Through the Outreach Program, our staff members transport these children from their neighborhoods to the Club where they can spend the afternoon taking part in character building activities. They also take part in community service activities and go on field trips. We then provide transportation for them to their homes in the evening.

The current housing units we serve are: Washington Plaza, Grandview, Garland Square and Southmont.  We also have a partnership with Washington Elementary School to provide assistance to their underserved students through the Creative Cats Afterschool Program. The Creative Cats program focuses on programming in education, physical fitness, leadership and character building and is for children who are struggling in school due in part to their economic status. Additionally, we provide transportation to the Club from Asbell Elementary, Washington Elementary and the Yvonne Richardson Center.

The youth involved in the Outreach Program are actively involved in community service.  By working in conjunction with the Torch and Keystone Clubs, teen service and leadership clubs, they have adopted two city streets (Rupple Road and Leroy Pond Drive) and deliver Christmas carols and holiday cheer to local nursing homes.

HOW TO HELP THE CLUB

We strongly believe in the valuable role that volunteers play in transforming the lives of our members. As little as one hour per week is all it takes to have a positive impact on a child’s life. The Club offers volunteer opportunities for adults to work directly with youth as mentors and tutors, and by providing career guidance, internships and college preparation support. We also welcome corporate and other groups seeking service opportunities.

The Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club is very serious about our responsibility for the youth in our care. We are proud of our excellent reputation as a safe haven for youth. Therefore, all volunteers serving in an ongoing capacity (excluding one-day service projects) must be over 18 and undergo a thorough screening process including a background check.

For more information about how you can donate your time or make a financial gift to the Club please visit www.fayettevillekids.org or call Autumn Hendrix at 479-442-9242 x146.

2012


Friday, July 19, 2013

Bikes Blues and BBQ Supports Horses for Healing

Horses for Healing was established as Rocky Creek Horses Help in 1993, when we launched a pilot project to provide therapeutic riding for a group of 15 special needs children in Rogers, Arkansas. A lot has happened since then.

We became the first therapeutic riding center in Arkansas to be accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and today are one of only two Premier Accredited facilities in the state. In order to serve more children, we moved to a larger facility in nearby Bentonville in 2004, and a year later changed our name to Horses for Healing.

Now working with hundreds of children with special needs a year, we are the largest center in Arkansas and among the largest in all of North America.

Our growth has certainly been dramatic, but is not yet complete. There are an estimated 10,000 children with special needs in Northwest Arkansas and Horses for Healing remains committed to serving as many of them as possible.

None of this of course would be at all possible without the vision, dedication and ongoing support of Harriette Habern, the Founder of Horses for Healing. In fact, a retired special education teacher and long-time horsewoman, Horses for Healing is the realization of Harriette’s lifelong dream to help children with special needs through therapeutic riding.

Horses for Healing is a nonprofit therapeutic riding center for individuals with special needs in Northwest Arkansas, run by a board of directors. In addition to our therapeutic program, Horses for Healing also offers a Sports Riding Program providing advanced equestrian training and activities for independent riders that includes group lessons, camps and competitions.

 Located conveniently west of Bentonville, we are an established full-service boarding and training facility with 23 stalls, rolling pastures, a covered arena, and an outdoor arena, covering a total of 75 acres. At Horses for Healing, our participants find success in the saddle and in life. Call to schedule a visit to our facility and you will find out just how rewarding it can be to be a part of our team at Horses for Healing!Horseback riding is a proven therapeutic technique for children with a variety of physical, emotional and mental disabilities.

How does therapeutic riding help? Physically, the gentle and rhythmic motion of a horse's gait increases the rider's muscle strength while also improving coordination, balance and flexibility. For children with emotional or mental disabilities, the special bond formed with a horse can lead to increased self-confidence; enhanced self-esteem; improved decision-making and social skills; increased patience, and a strong sense of achievement.

Among our many accomplishments, we take particular pride in the many "firsts" that we've seen at Horses for Healing. These include the beaming grin on the face of a child who doesn't smile. The gripping hug of a child who doesn't trust. A first word spoken. Or that first halting step ever taken.

Therapeutic riding should only be considered in cooperation with medical professionals and each rider must have a physician's approval to participate. Special attention also is given to input from therapists, teachers and other professionals involved in a child's overall care.

Horses for Healing couldn't exist without the support of our friends and community. We are a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization. We do not receive funding from state or federal agencies, nor are we a United Way recipient. We are supported primarily with gifts from generous friends like you, grants, and fundraising events. While a nominal fee of $25 per lesson is charged to students (the actual cost is over $100 per lesson), a large number of students are unable to pay this fee. It is Horses for Healing’s policy to make therapeutic riding available regardless of ability to pay so your donation keeps area children “in the saddle.”

To find out more about Horses for Healing visit their website:
www.horsesforhealingnwa.org

Or support their cause by giving them a LIKE them Facebook: www.facebook.com/horsesforhealing

Horses for Healing NWA
14673 Daniels Road
Bentonville, AR 72712
479-795-0570

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bikes, Blues and BBQ Supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA

Help kids in your community

David and Chris
When an at-risk child is matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister, it doesn't take long to notice the changes: they focus more on schoolwork, they get along better with their siblings, and they start thinking about a successful future.

We have this question to ask, "What would happen to this community if every kid had a caring adult mentor in their life?"

Here's what can happen:

Children who have a Big Brother or Big Sister are more likely to graduate from college than their own parents were to graduate from high school. Think of the hundreds or thousands who could graduate.

Children matched with Big Brothers and Big Sisters have far more earning potential than those of a similar demographic who aren't as fortunate. Imagine a better-educated, higher-earning workforce in the future.

John L. and Jay
Children with Big Brothers and Big Sisters are far more likely to serve their community by volunteering and giving back. They become our future leaders!

So we need not wonder whether we are capable of doing anything to help more children go to college, to help boost our local economy, or to help raise a generation of leaders. The answer lies in the accountability that starts when one child gains a friend, a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Christian and Jonathan
Our agency matches Littles (children ages 6-14) with caring, adult Bigs (mentors over the age of 18) in one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Since our agency carefully screens some 100 potential mentors each year we rely on our community for support.

It’s through events and corporate relationships that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas can achieve our success. Since every mentoring relationship costs our agency $1000 per year to make and maintain, you can realize how important support from Bikes Blues and BBQ is to us and we are honored to be a continued partner of this amazing festival!
Britavia and Chase

July marks the 20th anniversary of our NWA agency and this month we have started a new campaign called 20 Men in 20 Days. Because boys tend to wait longer on our list for the perfect Big we want to concentrate our recruiting efforts on male volunteers this month. Take a look at some of our successful male matches in the photos.
                 
Will you Start Something in your community? Will you help us get 20 boys off our waiting list by either volunteering or donating to our campaign?

Contact BBBS NWA to find out more 479-966-4366 or www.bbbsnwa.org



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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bikes, Blues and BBQ Supports Ozark Literacy Council's PIGShibition

An event like PIGShibition doesn’t just “happen.” It’s the hard work of many dedicated volunteers and also through the generosity of individuals, organizations and businesses, all of whom share and support the idea that literacy betters and empowers the NWA as a whole. This Sponsor Spotlight segment focuses on our partners of the PIGShibition event , offering a “behind the scenes” look into the “why” of PIGShibition, the decision-making process and highlighting each sponsor’s thoughts toward literacy and community involvement.

When you feel (and hear) that deep-throated rumble, it can mean one of two things:

1) an earthquake;
2) Bikes, Blues & BBQ time has come to town!

What started in 2005 as a local event with 300 riders has evolved into the largest motorcycle rally in the United States benefiting local charities. Last  year, it was estimated that over 400,000 people attended the rally from all 50 states and many other countries.

The Ozark Literacy Council is honored to be among the recipients of the rally’s generosity. We spent some time with Joe Giles, Executive Director of Bikes, Blues & BBQ, and he shared these thoughts with us about PIGShibition:

What was it about PIGShibition and the Ozark Literacy Council that persuaded you to be a part of this unique event?
Members of the Bikes Blues and BBQ staff and Board are very interested in the work of the Literacy co0uncil and support it wholeheartedly.   In particular, Board member Bill Ramsey spearheaded the move among the members to participate in PIGShibition.

Why did you pick the pig design that you did? What was it about that design that spoke to you above all the other great choices?
Our selected design was perfect for the rally’s focus, that of a “biker pig” complete with clever notes and nuances.  Whimsical, and appropriate. We fully expect K.R. to be the subject of considerable conversation, and to provide immense entertainment for those who view it.

Any anecdotes or comments you’d like to share?
We expect to be contacted by the Guggernheim Museum of Modern Art concerning loaning privileges.  Our response: Get your own pig; this one belongs to Fayetteville.

Source: www.pigshibition.org/sponsors/bikes-blues-bbq/

PIGShibition: Community Art Project is proudly brought to you by the Ozark Literacy Council in partnership with the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission.

PIGShibition is a community art project that will…
  * Draw awareness to local literacy issues
  * Support the Ozark Literacy Council and
     local artists

  * Promote the work of local artists
  * Beautify and promote the city of
     Fayetteville

The first PIG was paraded into town for the PIGmalion Preview party in June 2012 and the PIGShibition celebrations will culminate at the Piggies go to Market event on March 14, 2013.

Learn more about Pigshibition and the Ozark Literacy Council >> www.pigshibition.org/about-pigshibition/pigshibition/

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Biker by Choice

By Maxine Barricklow of Sallisaw, Oklahoma

Maxine and John
I married a biker 20 years ago this July. I knew after my first ride behind him that I was hooked. My husband, John, was a 'born and bred biker' and with my new found freedom of the road, I became 'biker by choice.'

Maxine's '08 HD Nightster
Through our years together, we attended poker runs and smaller rallies.  The night we saw the tv footage for BBB and ALL the bikes that showed up I knew, WE HAD TO GO!  When the next rally came around in '07, we got our chance. We washed and shined my husband's bike,  collected our posse, and off we went to the very biggest rally I had ever seen.

The Bike parade (Parade of Power) was never ending, and my favorite part of the rally. The food was good, and the atmosphere of the big bike family is why we go back every year.  Making that 80 mile ride, through the beauty of NWA on 540 (you must honk your horn through the Bobby Hopper tunnel) is as much fun as being at Bikes, Blues and BBQ.  Natural Dam is a nice place to take a break from the hustle and bustle. We also enjoy riding the winding roads of the 'Pig Trail' and shopped at the Harley store.

John's dad, Brian
Late 2008, I was fortunate enough to get my own bike. I was glad to not have to wait for someone to give me a ride anymore! I couldn't wait for my first BBB parade, all by myself, on my own '08 HD Nightster. I know I had a grin from ear to ear. I'm sure my bike and I 'floated cloud 9' all the way down Dickson.

Maxine's husband John and his father, Brian
Last year BBB was a big one for us too. Again, gathering our posse, but this time, my husband's parents got to make that ride with us to BBB. John's dad, Brian, a life long biker, has had some health issues and it was great to ride with him during the rally at almost 80 years of age. It was nice to see him and my husband riding side by side again. It was a ride I will always remember.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Living in the Ozarks without a Motorcycle is like living in Aspen without Skis!

By Matt Whitley of Bentonville, Arkansas

Ever since the day I rode my first street bike off the dealership parking lot and took the maiden voyage from Bentonville along the scenic twists of highway 12 to War Eagle, I have come to the conclusion that living in the Ozarks without a motorcycle is the equivalent to living in Aspen without skis! The miles, upon miles of winding back roads over rolling lush mountains of towering forest really has a way of reminding you that you are indeed in 'The Natural State' and that no matter what turn you take you are in for a great ride. But what makes Northwest Arkansas a biker's haven isn't just curves, fresh air, and scenery. One only has to take a short ride out to the charmingly unique town of Eureka Springs to see signs and flags waving along highway 62 welcoming all bikers, to know that the community warmly embraces riders and is happy for their patronage.

Never a time is this is more evident than during the Bikes, Blues, & BBQ rally. When I talk to bikers visiting from around the continent and ask what they think of Arkansas the reply I often get is "everyone is so friendly!", sometimes even with an astonished or surprised expression. A married couple that rode in from Michigan elaborated by telling me they had been to many of the other big rallies, including Sturgis & Daytona, and made the observation that you usually don't see as many non riding locals coming to greet and mingle among the visiting biker crowds as you do in Fayetteville. The woman told
me that she was especially surprised to see families taking casual walks down Dickson street, even pushing strollers, among the endless line of bikers and scoots. Her Husband added that he hadn't witnessed as much of the "chest thumping" from some bikers and/or police as other rallies this size and that the whole event had a very fun & friendly vibe to it. Our conversation ended with him stating, "You guys have a good thing going here!". As both a resident and rally goer I couldn't agree more.

Sometimes I come across locals with pre conceived
notions of bikers that have told me they had their perceptions tested by encounters with rally patrons as well. Just last year after taking in the Fayetteville sights I embarked on an afternoon escape to the picturesque views of Mount Magazine.  I stopped by the lodge that sits atop the 2,753-foot overview for a bite to eat at the Skycrest restaurant. The mature, conservatively dressed woman serving me was in an especially friendly mood despite being visibly exhausted nearing the end of what must have been a long lunch shift. When I asked if they were busy that day she didn't hesitate to fill me in that this was the first year she had worked during the rally and had felt a little un-easy and even intimidated at first when most of her tables were suddenly filled to capacity with "leather, long hair, and tattoos." She told me that it didn't take her long, however, to realize that they were actually quite gregarious, polite and patient.  "In fact", she stated, "they had been some of the most gracious tippers she has had all year!" She jokingly suggested that if they had the rally every week and she could convince her husband to sell his golf cart so they would have the money and the space to buy a Harley to take to next year's Bikes, Blues, & B.B.Q. rally. We laughed and I told her that I would see her there.

Would you like to share a "Road to the Rally" story?  Send a minimum of 800 words and 3-6 clear photos to socialmedia@bikesbluesandbbq.org

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CASA: A Bikes, Blues and BBQ Charity


Like a lot of mothers, Megan will embrace her children on Mother’s Day. She will treasure their wet kisses and handfuls of yellow dandelions. She will hang their homemade cards on her refrigerator.  Unlike a lot of mothers, Megan has had to work every day of her young adult life to earn the right to enjoy Mother’s Day.

Megan was a foster child. She entered the system at twelve and was high on one substance or another most of her teen life. Megan was abused, neglected and homeless, and in and out of treatment centers for both drugs and behavioral issues. She was pregnant at nineteen and had three children before she reached twenty-three.

Megan eventually lost custody of all three children.  The father of her children, another long time addict, hung himself in the county jail on his oldest son’s birthday, leaving his son saddled with a legacy he may never be able to shake.

Today, Megan is an addict in recovery and she has her three children by her side.  This is not a Fairy Tale. This is a tale of hope.  When Megan lost custody of her three children, she gained a CASA and that CASA became Megan’s lifeline.  Her CASA laid out a plan, highlighted each court ordered step to reunification and stood beside Megan, no matter what.  This volunteer offered the kind of support that Megan had never had before.

With her CASA’s support and guidance, Megan completed a successful inpatient drug rehabilitation program, attended weekly visitations with her three children while they were in foster care, attended parenting classes, got a job and secured housing for her family.  This year Megan can celebrate Mother’s Day, reunified with her children, because of her own hard work and the hard work, support and encouragement of her CASA volunteer.

CASA of Northwest Arkansas
479-725-2213
www.nwacasa.org

Click here to view a listing of other charities supported by rally proceeds: http://www.bikesbluesandbbq.org/charities/