Rain keeps bikers away from annual charitable fundraiser
by Martha Quetsch
Elburnâ€”Timing is everything, at least for outdoor events that depend on good weather. Unfortunately, at the time of the Elburn Lions Ride charitable fundraiser Saturday, it was pouring outside.
â€œThe rain couldn’t have come at a worse time,â€ said Lions member Joe Kryszak, who manned the registration desk at Lions Park in Elburn.
â€œPeople get up, they’re having breakfast and they’re looking outside and the rain’s coming down. It’s not the best environment to ride a bike,â€ Kryszak said.
Just 20 motorcyclists came out for the 50-mile scenic ride, for which registration was from 9 to 11 a.m. Among them was Art Bensen of Schaumburg. He bikes in the Lions event every year with friends.
â€œI like that it’s for a good cause,â€ he said.
The event’s profit helps to support club charities such as assisting needy, hearing-impaired and blind individuals. Kryszak said that amount would be down this year because of the poor turnout.
â€œWe’re definitely going to take a bath. But you can’t fight the weather,â€ he said.
When weather is good, the Lions Ride has drawn as many as 500 bikers. With each participant paying $15 and riders $10, the Lions collect nearly $10,000 when attendance is that high. The club also sells raffle tickets during the event, this year offering a 50-50 cash drawing.
Some of the money pays for the band and park set-up, but the rest goes to club causes including buying seeing eye dogs for individuals in need. But with the cost now being about $28,000 for dog, the club will not be able to purchase one in the near future, Kryszak says.
Saturday was not the first time bad weather spoiled a Lions fundraiser. The club’s biggest event, Elburn Days, was rained out in 2007, so the club’s charitable coffer took a hit that year.
â€œBut it is what it is. It’s just one of those things,â€ Kryszak said. â€œThere’s nothing you can do about it.â€
Photo: Art Benson of Schaumburg was one of just 20 bikers who braved the rain to participate in the Elburn Lions Ride for charity Saturday. Photo by Martha Quetsch