Hundreds of bikers and a handful of vintage automobile owners pulled out of the American Legion Post 927 parking lot in Gilbert Sunday morning to support a good cause.
The second annual United Dream Ride, benefitting the Blue Ridge chapter of Dream Come True, figured to raise more than the $18,000 brought in last year, according to event organizers.
Coming into Sunday, the ride had generated over $10,000, with many of the 480 bikers and 35 car drivers still paying their $25 registration fee, $10 for passengers, and making other donations.
"We're really blessed to have such a beautiful day and a great turnout," Wayne Halliday, ride organizer, said. "The way these folks come out and show their support is truly inspiring. We have a number of volunteers here also giving their time. Both the riders and the volunteers give for all the right reasons."
Halliday was motivated to organize the initial ride last year in memory of his daughter Emily, who passed away at two months old.
"Emily is an inspiration to our family," Halliday said. "We want to keep growing the event and making it bigger and better. What we're doing today is for a great cause. Dream Come True helps so many people. I couldn't think of a better reason to be out here."
The Blue Mountain Kodas Motorcycle Club and the Legion Riders of American Legion Post 927 assisted with the event.
Ladder trucks from Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder and West End fire companies combined to hoist a large American flag over Route 209 and the entrance to the Legion.
After eating breakfast served by Legion staff, riders departed at 10 a.m. on an 87-mile journey to Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg.
Bikers came from across the state including Jack Bosley, of Pottstown, on his Harley Davidson.
"Anytime you can get out for a good cause, it is worthwhile," Bosley said. "It's a beautiful day. I get out and do quite a few of these rides."
Molly Holland, of Orefield, said a co-worker's family benefitted from Dream Come True several years ago, inspiring her to ride.
"I like to get out and ride, but a lot of times it takes you knowing someone who benefits from the charity, or being personally impacted yourself, to get involved," she said. "This is a just a great way to get everyone together and help the children who need our help the most."
Safety was paramount for ride organizers.
"We're going out to help at the intersections and make it a nice, safe journey," said Easton's Stan Smith, part of a group of special "blockers" riding ahead of the pack.
Lunch was provided at Knoebels following the ride.