What’s in an event’s name?

The purpose of an upcoming motorcycle fundraiser remains the same, but it will feature a new name.

Saturday’s event, being conducted for the fourth consecutive year to benefit disadvantaged youth, now is called The Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund Ride.

Previously the fundraiser was called the Mayor’s Ride.

The new name takes into consideration political changes, city spokesman Mike Nolting said. Incumbent Mayor Kristen Brown was defeated in the Republican primary election in May.

More importantly, it’s designed to reaffirm that the motorcycle fundraiser always has been about helping disadvantaged children in the community, Nolting said.

“The name of the event is immaterial, and it would be a shame if politics were somehow injected into a charity event like this,” Nolting said. “Mixing the two doesn’t represent the ideals that have kept the Cheer Fund going since 1930. It’s about the kids.”

Considered by many to be the city’s oldest charity still in operation, the Cheer Fund is a nonprofit organization run by city firefighters that provided toys and other gifts to 1,426 children last December.

In addition to the name change, the event has a new start/finish area: the Fourth Street entertainment corridor near Washington Street. Previously the ride started and finished at City Hall.

It will start at 9:30 a.m. A block party will conclude the 100-mile ride and will include opportunities to win prizes, including a $500 gift card from Mann’s Harley-Davidson.

Organizers are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather will be more cooperative than it was last year. Due to the threat of rain, the event attracted only 71 motorcycles, down considerably from about 160 the prior year and 120 bikes during the inaugural event in 2012.

Last year’s event raised about $3,900, compared to $8,500 in 2013.

The cost for this year’s ride is $20 for a single rider and $30 for a rider with a passenger. However, non-riders are being encouraged to make monetary donations.

If you go

What: Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund Ride

When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Where: The 100-mile motorcycle ride will begin and end in the Fourth Street entertainment corridor in downtown Columbus.

Who benefits:  All proceeds support the efforts of the 2015 Firemen’s Cheer Fund Campaign.

Information: cheerfund.com or on Facebook.  

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.