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North Louisiana motorcyclists join in on Cruisin’ for St. Jude event

Sunday, June 19, 2022
North Louisiana motorcyclists join in on Cruisin’ for St. Jude event

Motorcyclists from Arkansas and Louisiana gathered together Memorial Weekend for a ride to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Submitted photo

The Cruisin’ for St. Jude Motorcycle Rally is held each year on Memorial Day weekend. This Rally has grown from a small motorcycle ride eight years ago of 30 people raising $2,500, organized by Neil Jones, to now a group of over 300 motorcycles riding in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a fund-raising total of nearly $400,000.

Riders came from as far as Indiana, Chicago, Kansas and as near as Claiborne and Bienville parishes for this year’s event. Over 424 people registered to participate, with some driving along in vehicles.

The rally is a threeday event which began on Thursday in Texarkana, Arkansas. Riders picked up registration packets, including T-shirts, had engaged in a meet and greet with other bikers at the host hotels. There were also Friday and Saturday night drawings, during which a 2020 motorcycle was raffled.

Friday began with a breakfast at the hotel, a drawing of cards for poker points run, and kickstands up by 8 a.m. Participants rode through the hills of Arkansas with road captains leading the rally. Police escorted the caravan through every town with people standing by streets waiting and waving.

After a Saturday breakfast, kickstands were once again up at 8 a.m. The ride continued to Mena, Arkansas, for lunch at Poppa’s Mexican Restaurant, then escorted up the winding hills to Wilhelmina State Park for a group picture.

Saturday night, donations and fundraising efforts are announced and families and chil dren are recognized and brought on stage.

Local restaurants accommodated 300 hungry motorcyclists with ease and grace. Law enforcement led the group through stop lights and traffic to show their support.

In the end, riders mentioned the best part is helping the children of St. Jude. For participation in 2023, contact Neil Jones at Talimena Rally Cruisin’ for St. Jude Facebook page.