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Iron Mtn. Riders raise oer $5000 for Jeff Shaw Memorial

This past Saturday morning brought a spectacular summer day, complete with bright skies and warm weather to Johnson County. A large group of seasoned riders gathered for the first Iron Mountain Riders Rally at Ralph Stout Park. This motorcycle ride was established to raise funds for the Jeff Shaw Memorial Fund.
Shaw passed away in November of 2007 at the age of 37. He played an important role in emergency response care within Johnson County. Shaw was the first director of 911 services in Johnson County, a firefighter with Mountain City Fire Department, a member of Johnson County Rescue Squad, as well as an Explorer Scout leader. The Jeff Shaw Memorial Fund was set up in 2008 by the Town of Mountain City, providing two $500 scholarships yearly to be awarded to Johnson County High School students who are seeking a career within emergency technical services or in the medical field. This past year, students Ashley Channel and Lindsey DeBord were the recipients of the Jeff Shaw Memorial Fund.
This family-friendly event had a little bit of something to offer everyone. Those who dared could climb a rock wall under the direction of members of the National Guard. Vendors set up tables with leather goods, motorcycle gear and a smattering of arts and crafts. Local volunteer fire departments provided food. Face painting and necklace making was set up for the younger crowd. Ned Kirsch had a motorcycle for sale that he had built to honor American soldiers. He purchased the bike, took it apart and customized it. If sold, Kirsch plans on making a donation to a youth ministry run by Lisa and Andy Zeggert. Throughout the day, the audience was entertained to the sounds of “40 Caliber,” “Blue Suede Soul,” and “One Foot on Earth.” Tickets were sold for a 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets were also available to win a motorcycle that was displayed on the stage. Trophies were awarded to the winners of the bike show. The ride itself included a poker run, where each rider received a playing card. At the return of all of the riders, the person with the best hand is the winner.
According to Iron Mountain Riders president, Lane Sentell, close to 100 riders showed up to this successful event, helping to raise $5,050 to be donated to the Jeff Shaw Memorial Fund this past Saturday. Riders came in from all over the county, as well as Johnson City, Virginia and North Carolina. Tim Prince was the winner of the coveted new motorcycle. The ride began at Ralph Stout Park, winding through Hampton, Shady Valley, onto Damascus and back to Mountain City. Sentell was pleased at the cooperation between law enforcement of Johnson County, Mountain City, Carter County and Damascus. In many locations, streets were blocked off to accommodate the many who had come up to help raise money in honor of one of Johnson County’s own who gave so much to his community. The riders had a police escort from the park all the way to Stony Creek off Highway 91 near Elizabethton. “We couldn’t have asked for more,” said Sentell, “It exceeded my expectations.” Sentell continued, “We made history yesterday for our town.”
By 10:00 am, bike after bike continued to roll in. Carol Camp, a resident of Johnson County, stood quietly, watching the ever-growing number of motorcycles arriving. Camp is somewhat of an expert on motorcycles. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of Harley Davidson. She recalled the pride Milwaukee residents had for those who built the motorcycles, especially when so many people gathered to celebrate what was known as “The Ride Home.” At one point, the owners of Harley Davidson were struggling and sold to American Machinery and Foundry, but the company was repurchased by a group of investors and brought back to Milwaukee. The streets were lined with people who witnessed their return back to their hometown of Milwaukee. To Camp, seeing the large group of bikes was a bit of nostalgia for her, a piece of home right in Mountain City.
For years, the typical image of someone who rode motorcycles brought to mind someone wild, young and reckless. Today, those riders who embarked upon this run and many others like it across the country are servicemen, bankers, doctors and business owners. According to Camp, many of the motorcyclists are pillars of the community. In Mountain City, that proved true as there were teachers, retirees and veterans. Mayoral hopeful Scott Teague, along with candidates for sheriff Roger Gentry and Ed Hoak, participated in the Iron Mountain Rally.
For complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks, The Tomahawk, available at local newsstands today!