The members of Columbia’s E.B.G.B. Motorcycle Club may look tough with their tattoos and studded leather jackets, but the only thing bigger than the engines of their Harleys might be the size of their hearts.
After all, they are the Eternal Brotherhood of Gentleman Bikers.
The club hosted its second annual Maury County School Supply Run, gathering more than 50 riders to raise funds for Maury County Public Schools.
Saturday, the club’s headquarters, located on South Main Street, was packed with members and non-affiliated riders alike. They donated $ 10 to participate in the journey through Maury County and beyond.
Raffle tickets were sold, giving participants a chance to win a guitar, a pair of riding boots or one of three bottles of whiskey engraved with a special message commemorating the event.
“We just try to help the community, especially those who really can’t afford the supplies,” Earl “Squirel” Goldman said. “And sometimes the schools run out of supplies too, and then teachers take money out of their own pockets.”
This year, proceeds from the event will go to Highland Park Elementary School and Riverside Elementary School.
Both schools will receive a batch of supplies and gift cards to assist teachers when materials run out.
The group roared through southern Middle Tennessee stopping at JJ’s Tavern and Barb’s Place in Pulaski, the E.B.G.B. clubhouse in Lawrenceburg and TJ Smalls in Mt. Pleasant.
At each stop, more riders joined and made a donation to the effort.
The event concluded with a celebration at the Columbia clubhouse with live music and Cajun cuisine.
Last year, the club saw participation from 67 riders followed by an evening celebration with dozens of guests raising more than $ 1,700 for Maury County Public Schools.
The E.B.G.B. Motorcycle Club has a legacy spanning decades in Southern Middle Tennessee.
Last month, the club’s Lawrenceburg Chapter held a similar event and donated school supplies to Ethridge Elementary School, Ingram-Sowell Elementary School and Summertown Elementary School.
“We are not tough guys,” Club Treasurer David “Millze” Mills said. “We are not troublemakers by any means. The more we can help the better it is for everyone.”
Mills rode near the head of the long line of chrome stallions as it made its way through rural Maury, Giles and Lawrence counties.
“It is just a way of life,” Club Secretary Tom “Spoony” Spoon said. “It’s about freedom of expression. These guys are positive role models for our community. They are contributors to our community.”
In addition to notebooks, backpacks, binders and other supplies, each school received gift cards worth $ 480 to be used for anything it needs, such as clothing, classroom supplies or funding for school events.
“We want to see our children get a better education,” the drive’s organizer Gayla Grant said. “Where else should your money go if not for a child’s education.”
Grant’s company, Happy People Promotions, hosts a variety of drives and fundraising events in Southern Middle Tennessee.
A Columbia-based organization, it is affiliated with fundraisers throughout the region, but it is most recognized for the Twisted Tuesday open-mic jams at Ember’s Bar & Grill in Columbia.
“People in the area turn to us when they have someone that has fallen on hard times and need some help,” Grant said.
The company holds other charities focused on helping those who have fallen on hard times that might not qualify for things like welfare or Social Security.
“There is no money to be made in it, but it is a lot of fun,” Grant said.