A motorcycle ride that drew hundreds of bikers and supporters recently raised awareness of sex trafficking and money to help fight it.
Local members of the Guardians of the Children and Rolling Thunder Inc. joined Vigilante Truth, an organization dedicated to fighting sex trafficking, particularly among truckers and at truck stops, for the Rumble & Roar Ride.
Leaving Tilley’s Harley-Davidson in Statesville on the morning of March 21, the riders rode with a police escort to Love’s Travel Stop in Salisbury, where the group talked to some of the travelers about the problem of trafficking.
After being greeted by the Jesse Carson High School marching band, the group heard from Lanie George, who said she was a survivor of sex trafficking. She founded Redeeming Joy, a Charlotte-based organization that offers post-trafficking after-care for former victims of sex trafficking.
Denver resident Bo Quickel, who formed Vigilante Truth, said goal of the ride was to “go out and find groups of men and change their hearts to an understanding of what they are paying for” when they pay for sex.
“Events like the ride are a way for us to get in the trenches where the activities are taking place and affecting those women directly,” he said.
After a snack lunch, the group followed another police escort to River City Bar & Grill in Mooresville to complete the ride, covering about 100 miles total.
Joined by motorcycle riders who couldn’t make the trip, nonriders and families, the crowd swelled to about 400 as the group raised approximately $2,500 to $3,000, Quickel said.
George and West Rowan student Isabella Hartsell each donated a painting to be auctioned off at the next fundraiser, a May 29 golf tournament at Verdict Ridge Golf and Country Club in Denver.
Carson High art students also created and donated a painting that illustrated scenes and thoughts about the sex trafficking industry, for Vigilante Truth to display at future events.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org