PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – Day two of the 13th annual Hillbilly Christmas In July kicked off Sunday morning with a four-stop free ride.
The Shriners’ slogan is “It’s all for the kids” and it was displayed well.
Billy Johnson told WYMT this year’s ride is not his first. “It’s so rewarding when you see the effects of the fundraising,” said Johnson. “Every year I take every opportunity to associate with these folks,” he continued.
This year, the motorcycle route is a little different. In previous years, the route ended at the Shriners Children Hospital in Lexington.
“It’s just such a rewarding thing especially when you see the kids. Years past when we would do these rides we would go to the hospital,” recalled Johnson. This year is different due to the hospital’s new location.
“They use this money to provide transportation, for rooms, for food for the families. The Shriner’s Hospitals, it’s just an incredible thing,” said Johnson.
Riding through Pike, Floyd, Johnson, and Martin Counties all for one cause.
“There’s no charge to the families. It does not matter how poor you are or how rich you are. Nothing matters, it’s for all kids,” Johnson said.
James Adkins told WYMT, many people benefit from the Shriners program. “Sometimes parent’s don’t qualify for Medicaid and this program picks up where that leaves off,” said Adkins.
Johnson commends those Shriners who work year round to help families out. “You see these Shriners out in the heat and the rain. They are the real heroes,” said Johnson.
Adkins said he hopes people see the bikers on the road and it starts a ripple effect throughout the community. “Take notice that we’re doing this and hey you can do something too,” said Adkins.
The ride began at 10 Sunday morning in Pikeville at the Harley Davidson shop. At 3:00 P.M. bikers were required to meet back up in Pikeville after the route.
Many door prizes were given out including a 2018 Harley Davidson Street bike.