Positive people, positive thinking, positive results is the motto of the newly formed nonprofit organization Action Riders.
The group, formed by Rick Gish, Pacific, and Susan “Rebel” Sweet, Gray Summit, was founded to help people in Franklin County who are in a crisis.
The first meeting was held in September and the group was incorporated in October. There were nine people at the first meeting.
“We have expanded from the original nine to 89,” Gish said, adding that though many of the members are involved in the motorcycle rights group Freedom of Road Riders, Action Riders is made up of motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists.
“You don’t even have to like motorcycles,” Gish said. “All you’ve got to do is want to help give back to the community.”
In fact, anyone is welcome to join the group. The current youngest member is 7 years old and the oldest member is 87, Gish said.
“If you want to come and help us out with a fundraiser to raise money to help people in the community, then this is a way to step up and do it,” Gish said.
So far, the group has helped a couple who had a house fire in St. Clair and a Washington couple involved in a motorcycle accident.
After the accident on Highway 94, Sweet also helped get the pothole that caused the accident fixed.
“There are too many people who need help in our community,” Gish said.
To request help, people only need to fill out an information sheet. Sweet said Action Riders will help people find other resources as well.
Information can be found online at actionriders.org.
Officers include Gish, president; Sweet, vice president; Paula Williams, secretary; and Sandy Hall, treasurer. Five trustees also help make decisions for the group.
In five years, Gish said he would like to see a chapter of Action Riders in every county in Missouri. There currently are group members representing five counties.
Unofficial meetings, or informational gatherings, are held the last Sunday of each month at the Pacific Eagles Hall, at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting will be held May 20. Dues are $10 per year.
Each meeting, members are asked to bring a canned good or toiletry item. Items are donated to a different food pantry in Franklin County each month.
The group also has food donation posts set up at Mobil in Pacific and at Snap Fitness in Washington. Items collected at those posts are kept in the town in which they are collected.
Action Riders will host a spring fling dance Saturday, May 12, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Pacific Eagles Hall to benefit the organization. Admission is $10 per person or $15 per couple. The event will include live music, an auction, raffles, food and a cash bar.
The following Saturday, May 19, Mobil will donate a percentage of its sales to Action Riders as part of its customer appreciation day.
A memorial ride for lost brothers and sisters will be held Sunday, May 27, at 11 a.m. at Roadhouse 100 in Gray Summit. The free ride ends at the Pacific American Legion. Any type of vehicle or motorcycle can participate in the ride.
Each year, the group will host the “9-11 Ride to Remember” to benefit the Union Food Pantry. More information on this event will be available at a later date.
For more information, people may call Gish, 314-578-6006, or Sweet, 636-744-9489, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.