The Pathfinders Family, a Christian-based nonprofit in Cumming, hosted its second annual ‘Ride to Recovery’ event at the Dawson County Farmers Market pavilion on Sunday, Aug. 1.
The event featured over 100 motorcyclists from the North Georgia area riding to Dawson County to celebrate people who had overcome or are going through rehabilitation for alcohol or drug addictions. The group raised $7,000 during the event.
“We’re all just a bunch of ex-knuckleheads who got our life straight trying to give back to the communities we sort of stole from,” said Joe Mele, organizer for the local Pathfinders.
Ice cream trucks and an inflatable water slide kept the summer event going while Pathfinders volunteers served patrons barbecue sandwich meals, smoked at the pavilion. Live music was played in between testimonials of how individuals overcame a specific addiction.
Pathfinders plan to donate to The Connection Forsyth, an organization for those seeking long-term recovery. Along with using proceeds to sponsor individuals entering rehab, the creation of a trust fund for two young girls whose mother died due to complications with heroin will be put in place after the event.
“At the end of the day, we want to help people get into rehab facilities,” Mele said. “A lot of us are ex-addicts who can put ourselves in the shoes of the people we help because we walked in those shoes for a long time.”
At the end of the event, all the bikers threw their kickstands up and rode out of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame parking lot in unison. Mele said the event only grew in success from last year and that they hope they can continue to help their hometown communities.
To get involved or donate to Pathfinders, find them on Facebook by searching Pathfinders Cumming.