In the spirit

Posted October 12, 2006

Motorcycle. Photo by Susan Safford
Last weekend's Poker Run, hosted by the Martha's Vineyard Harley Riders, takes this bike past Sunset Lake in Oak Bluffs. Photo by Susan Safford

Next time the rumble of a big V-twin engine rattles your windows, it's possible that the Harley Davidson bike and rider are raising money for an Island charity.

This year's Spirit of the Vineyard Award honors the Martha's Vineyard Harley Riders. This dedicated group rides the Vineyard roads for fun and to help others.

Every August, they sponsor the Run to the Rock, where bikers from all over come and ride as the MV Harley Riders raise money for Island charities. They sponsor Safe Haven, a week's vacation in April for children with AIDS. They also support the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Martha's Vineyard, Martha's Vineyard Youth Hockey, Little League, Women's Softball League, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Red Stocking Fund, Tony Bonito Scholarship for graduates of the high school, Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, and Camp Jabberwocky. They also give a scholarship in their own name to a graduate of the regional high school. The Spirit of the Vineyard Award, given annually, is sponsored by Hospice of Martha's Vineyard. This award honors those who have served for one or more non-profit organizations on the Island, and whose work has made a difference to individuals and to the community as a whole. The criteria for selection include selflessness, the range and depth of service performed, the length of volunteer service and the effect on the quality of life of the individuals who received help and for the Island community as a whole.

A breakfast to honor the Martha's Vineyard Harley Riders will be held on Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 am at the Hebrew Center. A free will donation will be welcome.