All proceeds from the event, which included a 142-mile motorcycle ride, a poker game, dinner and door prizes, go to the chapter’s therapy fund to provide counseling services to local children who need help.
“All of the money that we raise here locally we use in our therapy fund,” said Leonard Cobb, Red Rock BACA chapter president. “In case there are some of our kids that don’t have insurance and can’t afford therapy we’ll cover the cost of that.”
Those participating in the ride gathered at the Shell station on Spanish Trail Road on Saturday. Cliff Cannon and Cindy Bergsma from Spanish Valley are not members of BACA, but they decided to participate because of the work the group does with kids.
“I think BACA has a really good mission and I wanted to support them,” Cannon said.
Before the ride began, a musical duo on tour from Soap Lake, Wash., provided entertainment in the parking lot of the gas station.
Danika Nolton, 12, and her music teacher, Gary Johnstad, heard about the BACA event and wanted to show their support.
Before the ride began, each rider drew a face card – part of the poker run – and wrote down the card on an entry form. At other stops along the route, the riders chose more cards, until they had picked up a five-card poker hand. The individuals who had the highest and lowest poker hands received prizes.
The motorcycles traveled south on U.S. 191, stopping at Wilson Arch and at the top of Harts Draw before heading on to Monticello, through La Sal and back to Moab.
“We don’t want to ride above anyone’s comfort zone,” Cobb said. “It’s an open ride to the public [and we might get] some people who aren’t used to riding with larger groups, or some people who really don’t know a lot of these people and they might not be as comfortable. So we’ll take it nice and slow and let everybody be comfortable and [it’ll] be an easy ride.”
The ride ended at the Watering Hole bar at Zax restaurant in Moab. The restaurant’s management heard the group needed a venue and volunteered to host the BACA event.
“We loved that BACA reached out to us and were looking for a host spot, and we’re happy to host them at the tavern,” said Shik Han, manager at Zax. “This is the first year getting involved with them and the cause, and we hope that it’s a long-standing relationship... We hope that we make this an annual thing and that it gets bigger and better every year.”
The poker run returned to Zax at approximately 5:30 p.m. Many participants commented on the beautiful scenery throughout the ride. Rod Asay, a Moab resident, has been a longtime supporter of BACA. He said he enjoyed the ride, noting that the BACA members were courteous and friendly and made the trek fun.
The Red Rock Chapter of BACA was started in 2007. The group received their full BACA charter in 2008 and their patches a year later.
BACA is a nonprofit group that reaches out to abused children. To become a BACA member an individual must submit fingerprints and undergo an FBI background check. Potential members also must have been supporters of BACA for at least two years and must receive the unanimous vote of the chapter’s board. The Red Rock chapter has seven patch members and five supporters, group members said.
For more information, contact the Red Rock chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.