ROCKINGHAM — Although Christmas won’t come around for another four months, now is the time for organizer Donny Sweatt to put together Christmas in the Heat — a motorcycle ride that will benefit deployed military units during the upcoming holiday season.
Sweatt said the money raised will go toward care packages for those fighting overseas.
The benefit ride, now in its second year, will begin Saturday at the Southern Roadhouse bar on McNair Road in Rockingham. Registration is set to start at 12:30 p.m. with kickstands up at 1:30.
Although all the stops that will be made on the trek are not yet finalized, Sweatt said Buddy Roe’s and the Rockingham VFW would be two destinations before ending back at the Roadhouse.
Riders will be fed once arriving back and will be entertained by Hardwired, featuring Richmond County natives Bub Barrett on bass and Philip Neal on guitar and Anson County native Mark McRae on drums.
Last year, a bike ride was held with the same purpose of supporting the Army and 32 boxes were sent containing hygiene items, including toothpaste and razors and food items like cookies and granola bars.
This year the United States Navy will benefit.
“I’m doing different branches each year,” said Sweatt.
Organizers also had local schools draw Christmas cards and write letters that were sent along with the care packages last year, and Sweatt expects to keep that tradition going, as well.
Cost for the benefit ride is $20 for single riders and $25 for doubles to go along with a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and a silent auction to help raise funds for the supplies of the packages. Sweatt said general donations will also be accepted.
With another cornhole tournament — similar to one held in the spring — set for Saturday, Oct. 8 at Sports Connection in Hamlet, Sweatt will use proceeds from all the events to shop for items and send them off in November. That will give them just enough time for the packages to get through customs and into the hands of military personnel.
Registration for the tournament will begin at 1 p.m. and the bags will start tossing at 2. The cost is $30 per two-person team and those with an active military ID can play for free.
For more information on both events, call Sweatt at 910-670-4208 or by email at [email protected]
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.