Motorcycle fundraiser benefits Life’s Bridges

LIHUE — Chef Carla Dusenberry ran into rain in Lawai Sunday, but continued from the Westside to the Rob’s Good Times Grill parking lot.

Despite the rain, nearly 50 bikers, highlighted by the Iron Circle club, participated in Bikers, Bridges and BBQ, a fundraiser for Life’s Bridges Hawaii.

“It’s a good cause,” said Russell Haluapo, a biker who organizes Kauai’s Ride for Keiki. “I’ve been riding for the toys (for tots) longer than I have for this. When I heard this ride is for Gina Kaulukukui, I had to join it. Gina is a good lady, and this is a good cause.”

John McFarlen, of the Sons of Kauai motorcycle club and a board member of Life’s Bridges, said the annual ride raises enough funds to keep the program operational for two or three months.

Life’s Bridges provides grief and bereavement services to youth, adults, families, community organizations and businesses during the most devastating and confusing times in their lives — the natural or unexpected death of a loved one, friend, co-worker, or sometimes complete stranger.

McFarlen said they just completed suicide awareness education with the recent graduates of the Kauai police Department’s 88th Police Recruit Class, and have established grief clubs at schools as part of the program services.

“Normally, we do this ride earlier,” McFarlen said. “But the Iron Circle is rallying on Kauai, and they wanted to ride here so we held the event back until they were on island. Last year, we had 42 riders. Today we’re already passed that mark. This is the biggest one yet.”

Riders left Rice Shopping Center for a run to the North Shore, with stops where they could get playing cards for the mystery poker run.

“It looks like rain out there,” one biker said. “We need to get out and get back early before the rain comes.”

McFarlen said normally the riders return to Rob’s, but this year, the group will meet at Troy’s.

“We’re trying something different,” McFarlen said. “Rob’s is still catering all the food. We’re just meeting at Troy’s for karaoke until the afternoon.”

The ride was sponsored by Rob’s Good Times Grill, Troy’s, Kauai United Way, the Payton Bryan-Chung Memorial and Iron Circle Hawaii.

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