Biker Bash helps raise more than $2,000
Bikes, bikinis, beer and a full moon — talk about a no-downside Saturday night.
They were all part of a good cause at Helen's Hilltop bar Saturday near Tonganoxie.
The fifth annual "Biker Bash" for charity drew hundreds of people to the bar from about 10:30 a.m. Saturday until closing time at 2 a.m. Sunday, said bar manager Missie Bedell.
Bikers across the metro and northeast Kansas gathered at Helen’s Hilltop to drink beer and socialize with old friends, and to talk about bikes, bike accessories, bike events, bike shops and helmet laws. Some took advantage of the bikini wash fundraiser, while others bought charity raffle tickets.
Three bands donated live music. County Road 5, Steel Rain and the f-holes — a band named for the distinctive s-shaped holes in hollow-body string instruments — took turns providing entertainment starting at noon.
Ten vendors took part, including Scumbag Apparel in Tonganoxie, DC Custom Cycle in Eudora and Von Mex pinstriping in Kansas City, Kan.
The event raised more than $2,000 for Bikers Against Child Abuse, a group that raises awareness of child abuse and abusers in 32 states and Australia.
“It’s awesome how they live their lives to help kids,” Bedell said.
Charity events are an established tradition at Helen's, where community roots run deep. It's been Helen's for eight years, but Bedell's oldest customers are in their 70s and started coming to the bar in their teens, she said.
The Biker Bash is held the last Saturday in June. It grows bigger each year — and perhaps deep community roots help lend the event its strong flavor of community involvement.
In Kansas, neighbors help neighbors. Local construction workers volunteered to put up safety fencing for the Biker Bash. Portable restrooms were donated.
Other volunteers set up tents, including a misting tent, for a warm Kansas summer afternoon. A nearby farmer lent his 18-wheel flatbed trailer for a band stage.
“Tonganoxie’s a charitable town and people just want to help,” said Missie Bedell’s husband, Noah Bedell.