Bikers raise nearly $8,000 for Boys & Girls Club

PUHI — “This is unbelievable,” said Larry Feinstein, a motorcycle enthusiast. “This is what holidays are made for. If you have a bike and you’re not riding it today, the bike should be on Craigslist or something. The turnout for this is unbelievable.”

Feinstein was one of more than 150 motorcycle riders who turned out Sunday for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Labor Day Blowout, a poker run benefiting the Boys & Girls Club, Kauai at the Kauai Harley Davidson and Grove Farm Park.

“I always wanted to do something like this,” said Ellsworth Fontes of Hilo. “We have 36 members and 25 motorcycles that we brought here from the Hawaii and Maui chapters. I told my guys that we’re not traveling this year. We’re going to Kauai for Labor Day.”

The poker run featured many motorcycle enthusiasts taking advantage of the sunny conditions, joined by classic car enthusiasts with accommodations for street cars and pickups.

Fontes said he wanted an event where his Neighbor Island riders could meet and mingle with Kauai motorcycle riders.

“A poker run is perfect,” he said. “And I don’t want people to think that we’re taking the money back to Hilo with us. We discovered the Boys & Girls Club, who do a great job helping young children. They need help, too, so everything we’re doing goes to help them and their kids.”

Among the celebrities mixed in the field was Shannon Aikau, head mechanic for the “Counting Cars” television show. Aikau was busy making friends with Kauai riders and leaders of the island’s motorcycle clubs. He is related to the legendary Aikau family of watermen and waterwomen on Oahu, including the late Eddie Aikau.

“Did you see Andy Bumatai?” asked Tina Albao of the Boys & Girls Club. “He’s riding with the guys today.”

Russell Haluapo, a local motorcycle event coordinator, said he connected with Fontes and opened a lot of doors in the community to ensure the success of this event.

When the dust settled, Fontes, with tears in his eyes, announced the event raised $7,839.46.

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