The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Veterans Ride Home. Photos by Joe Labbe.

Veterans Ride Home and Biker Bash

When: Saturday, Sept. 24, ride begins at 9:30 a.m.; after biker bash from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Ride begins and ends at Motorcycles of Manchester, 98 Willow St., Manchester; after-bike bash is at Auburn Pitts, 167 Rockingham Road, Auburn
Cost: $20 per rider and additional $10 per passenger (includes admission to after-bike bash); $15 general admission to after biker bash only; additional costs apply for motorcycle rentals

Vet ride
Motorcycle rally held to support homeless veterans

By Matt Ingersoll

 Grab a helmet and hop on a motorcycle — your own or one from Motorcycles of Manchester — for a tribute and celebration of New Hampshire’s veterans, as the sixth annual Veterans Ride Home rolls through Manchester, Boscawen and Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 9:30 a.m.

If you don’t have a bike of your own, you’ll be able to rent one at Motorcycles of Manchester at 98 Willow St., where the sixth annual rally will kick off. Dozens of bikers will visit New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before traveling to Auburn Pitts for the “Biker Bash,” which will feature an all-you-can-eat barbecue, live music and a 50/50 raffle.
Admission is $20 per rider and an additional $10 per passenger and includes everything provided at the after-ride bash. Additional costs apply to bike rentals; Motorcycles of Manchester will be offering a 10-percent discount to riders over the age of 21 who present a valid motorcycle license at the door.
All proceeds will benefit The Way Home, a greater Manchester area nonprofit formed to help provide low income housing.
Rhonda Kenny of The Way Home said the organization holds several annual fundraising events, but this one is geared specifically toward veterans in need of affordable housing. The Way Home began operating Laurel Keys, a supportive housing facility for individual homeless veterans at 85 Laurel St. in Manchester, in 2011.
“Part of the support will go back into maintaining the house, but also to providing outreach and coaching and counseling to our veterans,” Kenny said.
Kenny said in addition to helping homeless veterans, The Way Home has been offering counseling and transitional housing services to individuals and families in and around Manchester for 28 years, including helping people obtain security deposit loans, find affordable housing and achieve financial literacy.
“One of the first steps for us in bringing on a new client is that we want them to understand how to sustain a living and how to budget going forward,” she said.
Registration for Saturday’s event begins at 8 a.m. at Motorcycles of Manchester, followed by the start of the ride at 9:30 a.m.
“For the last five years, we’ve gone to the [Boscawen] cemetery, where there’s a kind of informal celebration and remembrance of our veterans,” Kenny said. “The Manchester Motorcycle Club has been leading our group there, and they will come down to Auburn Pitts. … I know they always do a wonderful ride going up and coming back, and this year they will be doing a fun thing where everyone is going to guess how many miles it is going to be to win some prizes.”
The bikers are expected to arrive at Auburn Pitts between 12:30 and 1 p.m., according to Kenny.
“We’ll have everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to chicken, salads and chips,” she said. “We’re also going to have baskets put together as great raffle items. We’ll have gift cards from local restaurants given out, a trip to Cabo will be one of the highlighted items that will be auctioned off … and there will be maybe 10 to 12 other auction items.”
You don’t have to be a participating rider or even have a motorcycle to attend the bash, according to Kenny. In fact, admission tickets for just that portion of the event will be sold at the door for $15.
“It’s going to be set up for families,” she said. “We’ll have cornhole and lots of other games set up as well, so the afternoon can certainly be for children. … I know in the past, we’ve had some riders with young teens that ride with them and then join them at the after biker bash.”
Kenny said that due to the ride and bash being a fundraiser for The Way Home’s veteran community, it has grown into a special environment for veterans to mingle and talk about their experiences.
“We’ve been trying to promote it more this year and we’re hoping to have at least 100 [bikers],” she said.

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