Ride to benefit advocates for children in foster care
WINFIELD - More than 200 bikers are expected to roll through Northumberland and three neighboring counties in September to benefit Susquehanna Valley CASA-Voice for Children.
The not-for-profit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) has faced federal funding cuts in the last few years, dropping more than 60 percent. In order to meet financial goals in 2013 and continue the level of service, the organization requires a budget of $200,000.
This inaugural benefit ride hosted by the Masonic Motorcycle Club International Chapter 19 will be held Saturday, Sept. 7. It will help supplement the lack of funds and let the public know about the organization, said local board vice president Debra Wagner.
Groups from around the Susquehanna Valley and two groups of Blue Knights from Harrisburg and Williamsport will participate, she said.
They are expecting 200 riders, but are planning for 300, Wagner said.
Registration to ride will start at 9 a.m. at the Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department picnic grounds along Route 15. the bikers will leave at 10 a.m. It is $10 to register early and $12 to register at the gates.
The trek through the four counties will basically be a big circle: Riders will head north on Route 15 and connect with Route 54 in Montgomery, head east and stop at Montour Environmental Preserve in Washingtonville, then head on Route 54 to connect with Route 11 in Danville, head south and stop at Shikellamy State Park in Sunbury and finally connect with Route 15 and end their trip back in Winfield.
Riders are expected back at the picnic area by noon, Wagner said.
The public is invited to participate in the activities at the picnic area, which will include prizes, a puppet show and entertainment by DJ JB Audio and band Pages of Paul. A chicken barbeque will also be held. The event is expected to conclude by 4:30 p.m.
CASA consists of volunteers from the community who, after training, can advocate for foster children on more of a one-on-one basis than a conventional county social worker can in Northumberland, Union, Lycoming and Snyder counties.
Individuals are appointed by the judge to be "the eyes and ears in the child's life" and recommend a course of action that is in the best interest of the child, Wagner said.
"The bottom line, we are representing the child," she said.
The valley's CASA is housed at the Union County Government Center, Lewsiburg.
To register for the ride, visit: http://susquehannavalleycasa.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/register-for-motorcycle-run/.