The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 30, 2013

24th Blessing of the Bikes is Sunday

Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — The Fulton, Ill. community is geared up for the 24th Blessing of the Bikes this Sunday.

“Bring your cameras. There’s a lot to photograph," Larry Leonard, owner of Paddlewheel Pizza and a member of A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) said.

He has been involved with the event for many years. His wife. Michelle, has participated in the Blessing of the Bikes for five years. Her father, Larry Housenga, was at the very first blessing, started by Julie Meiners and Bear Richardson. She said it helps raise awareness about bikes on the road.

Each year, motorcycles are lined up in downtown Fulton, so that Meiner’s father, Arley T. Downie, who is a Catholic priest, can provide a blessing to participants, no matter what denomination they belong to or type of vehicle they drive. Lineup of the motorcycles begins at noon, with the blessing starting at 1 p.m. The event will end at 3 p.m.

“The sparkle of chrome, the leather, the brotherhood,” Leonard said, all comes together to form a great day.

For the first time, ABATE will ask participants to bring non-perishable food items. These cans will be donated to the local food pantry. Michelle Leonard said ABATE is very interested in helping the community. The brotherhood also participates in a yearly toy drive, which is scheduled for Oct. 20 this year.

For more information, contact Meiners at (563) 249-5681 or Paddlewheel Pizza at (815) 589-2001.