Motorcycle clubs hold veterans benefit ride after having to scale back event

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Riders said they settled for a smaller event because they weren't accompanied by the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders took part in the first annual Patriots Point Benefit Ride, raising money for veterans.

Arriving in smaller groups to avoid disrupting traffic, riders paid their way into Patriots Point, visiting the museum and the Yorktown.

Randy Kent is a Navy veteran and member of the Warhorse Brotherhood motorcycle club. Kent said their mission is to support veterans whenever possible.

"We're here today to show that we could do this without any interruption to the traffic pattern, without any interruption to anybody here," said Kent.

The riders originally planned on holding a fundraiser along with a ceremony on the aircraft carrier, but two weeks ago the group learned they couldn't go through with that portion of the event. Riders say the news came after the fundraiser was advertised up and down the East coast.

"I'm disappointed that we couldn't what we had originally planned because it would've been a lot better. This is maybe one third of the people who would've come," said Kent.

Once the police department pulled support, Patriots Point followed suit, not allowing the fundraiser to take place on their property. Their operations director said the event couldn't be held without the involvement of local law enforcement.

Kent said, "I'm satisfied in the fact that we're able to show that something like this could be done without any bad stuff they foresaw."

Kent and his fellow riders have high hopes for next year.

"We'd like to have the blessing of the museum to do something on the carrier. We'd like to have police support and we'd like to have some vendors out here. We just want a bigger event next year. We want to be able to raise more money for the museum and have a gathering of veterans and people who support them," said Kent.

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