Area Bikers Ride Against Child Abuse

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The freezing temperatures couldn't keep bikers and teddy bears off the streets of Bowling Green on Saturday, April 7, 2007.

Nearly 300 motorcyclists took part in the 8th Annual Great Teddy Bear Run sponsored by the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center.

The purpose of the bike ride is to raise community awareness of over 500 children who are abused in the area every year, while collecting teddy bears to give to young victims of abuse.

Riders braved temperatures in the low-30's and light snow showers to give to a greater cause.

"Its very cold out here today and still we have people who'll come out every single year and ride with us. We have people in the community that know their community has a Child Advocacy Center and what it does because of this ride," said Dawn Long, Advocacy Center Executive Director.

"Some of us already drove 50 miles this morning to get here. We've been out since 6:30 a.m., some out since about 6 a.m.. So bundle up. If cows handle it, we can handle it," rider, Reverend Curtis Long said.

While the Teddy Bear Run's main focus is giving to abused children, the riders also receive a gift of their own.

Reverend Daniels still remembers his childhood teddy bear fondly.

"I remember growing up, I had a teddy bear. So it was always something to comfort, something to snuggle with, something to hold on to," Rev. Daniels recalled.

Reverend Daniels is taking those childhood memories and strapping them to the back of his motorcycle, along with hundreds of other bikers, in the name of child advocacy.

"The thing about riding motorcycles is we've pretty much done it all our lives, so its like an everyday event, but little children are the most important things we have in this world ... the love of little children and they need the comfort," Rev. Daniels said.

Rod Hoffman of the Christian Motorcyclists Association agrees.

"Oh its a blessing that we'll be able to participate in something like this for the children. The awareness of the child abuse that is going on and stand firm against those who do abuse children," Hoffman said.

Long said it's hard to find bikers at the event without smiles on their faces.

"Its hard not to get excited when you've got teddy bears strapped to your bike, blue ribbons, blue balloons and you know that your helping kids," Long said.

Reverend Daniels said he had so much fun at this years ride, you can expect to see him back next year, with a teddy bear in tow.

"Oh yeah, I'll definitely be back next year. I love to help out everybody I possibly can," he said.

If you would like to learn more about the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center, also known as BRACAC, call 270-783-4357.