Rollin' For A Reason

Motorcycle club to hold rally for breast cancer   

By Abby Morris
star staff
amorris@starhq.com

  Black leather and pink ribbons? The idea does not sound strange for members of Chics 'N Chaps, a female motorcycle club that will sponsor a rally this month to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.
  The rally will be held on Saturday, July 31, at the Shady Valley Country Store just north of Elizabethton on U.S. Highway 91 in Shady Valley from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.
  "About 215,990 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2004. About 40,110 women will die from the disease this year. Right now there are slightly over 2 million women living in the U.S. who have been treated for breast cancer," states information from the ACS. "Breast cancer death rates are going down. This decline is probably the result of earlier detection and improved treatment."
  According to current estimates, one out of every nine women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Every three minutes another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and every 12 minutes, a woman dies as a result of breast cancer.
  Kathy Witt, who is the vice president of the club, knows all too well the dangers of breast cancer because she is a breast cancer survivor.
  According to club President Christy Ralph, the club has set a a goal of $2,500 for the fund raiser, but they are hoping for more than that. "We're trying to raise as much money as possible for breast cancer," she said.
  Witt shares her enthusiasm and her optimism. "Our goal is $2,500, and I feel that we are going to meet and exceed that goal," Witt said.
  The rally will begin on Saturday and will feature a dunking booth, food and live music as well as dealers selling silver jewelry, leather and air art.
  And, like many motorcycle rallies, there will be contests so those who attend can show off their rides. Contest categories will include "best bike" and "loudest pipes" among others.
  Camping space will be available at a cost of $10 per tent, but according to club members, space is somewhat limited so camping is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  The rally will continue on Sunday with a poker run. Sign-up for the poker run will be held at 8 a.m. with a pull out time of 11 a.m.. The cost to enter the poker run is $5 per entrant.
  In addition to fees to enter the various contests, there will be donation jars set up for those wishing to give money that way.
  Door prizes will also be given away and raffles held at the event. According to Witt and Ralph, area businesses have donated items to be used as door and raffle prizes. "The response we have gotten in the area is really awesome," Witt said.
  Both Witt and Ralph have high hopes for the rally. "We are hoping that it is such a success that next year we have to move to a bigger location," Witt said. The club expects more than 600 bikers will attend the event.
   The Chics 'N Chaps motorcycle club began just over a year ago when two women who were both looking for other women to ride motorcycles with met on-line. From there, Chics 'N Chaps was born. "No matter what kind of bike you ride, you are welcome," said Witt.
  According to Witt, Chics 'N Chaps is the only female motorcycle club in the area. "When we formed the club we thought it would be neat to have a women's rally which has never been done before, just like there has never been a women's (motorcycle) club before," she said.
  Club member Laura Eryasa said she likes the laid back atmosphere of the group. "A lot of women feel that they can't ride unless they are with their husbands, but here they can go ride with a bunch of girls," she said.
  People interested in finding out more about Chics 'N Chaps can visit the group's Web site at www.chicsnchaps.bravepages.com. The club has a section of the page dedicated to the upcoming rally. Those wishing to contribute to the rally can make donations on-line through PayPal on the Rally's Web site.