After charity donations were suspended in 2008, some wondered about the fate of Bikes, Blues & BBQ. But the annual motorcycle rally bounced back into the black and was able to resume donations this year.
During a special celebration yesterday at the Fayetteville Town Center, Bikes, Blues & BBQ distributed $48,500 in donations to 33 local charities with the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club, Life Styles Inc. and Peace at Home Shelter receiving the most funding, at $3,500 each.
CASA of NWA, Jackson Graves Foundation, NWA Economic Development District and Pagnozzi Charities received the second-highest amount, with $3,000 donated to each.
“This has been a tremendous year for the rally. Not only were we able to retire our debt from 2008, we were also able to pay all of this year’s expenses and get back to delivering on our promise of providing funds to local charities,” said Nelson Driver, Executive Director of Bikes, Blues & BBQ in a release issued during the ceremony.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ was unable to donate any funding at all last year. Instead, organizers say they focused on repaying debt the festival accumulated beginning in 2003 when a music sponsor backed out and forced the rally to begin borrowing money in order to make charity donations possible. Organizers said today that 2008 was the first year Bikes, Blues & BBQ has had to suspend donations.
The charities receiving money this year were selected first from those who requested funding in 2008. After their requests were satisfied, Bikes, Blues & BBQ selected recipients from this year’s submissions.
“We are finishing our 10 Anniversary rally with a bang and are well positioned for next year,” said Kenneth Mourton, chair of Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Next year’s rally is scheduled for Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, 2010.