Organizers of the first Griggs Hampton Memorial Bike Ride & Cruise-In are hoping local residents will continue their support of families battling cancer.
According to spokesperson Donna Hiatt, the event is slated on June 28 at Veteran’s Park and will start at 10 a.m. with registration held from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Hiatt said the rain date for the event has been set for July 26. Proceeds from the ride and cruise in will benefit the Surry Cancer Awareness Team (SCAT).
“We (SCAT) are a group of dedicated individuals who serve Surry County residents by providing up to date information on cancer awareness, detection and prevention,” said Hiatt. “SCAT reaches out to the community by presenting educational programs to civic, church and other groups and provides literature to the Mount Airy Public Library.”
She said the group wants people to know financial assistance is available for those battling cancer, be it in the form of a gas card, groceries, paying a power bill or monetary donation. The group also holds an annual health fair to benefit the public. This event typically offers free health screenings and healthier lifestyle information. Hiatt said SCAT is also a strong supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She reported grants in excess of $400,000 have been received by Surry County over the past 12 years to offer free mammograms to those with little or no insurance.
The bike ride will be led by the Enforcers Motorcycle Club with assistance given by the Dobson Cruise-In, Mayberry Mustang Club and Thunder Road Cruisers. A car show featuring “anything on wheels” will also be held during the event as well as a cornhole tournament. Radio station WSYD will be providing entertainment with The Rhythm Band performing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ten-year-old Grace Phillips will perform in the opening ceremony. The Millennium Charter Academy student is a one-year cancer survivor. Mount Airy Fireman Brad Harrell is expected to be there with a pink fire truck from the Pink Heals organization.
Sheriff Graham Atkinson is seeking donations for the effort in return for kissing “Spanky” the pig at 12:45 June 28. Hiatt said Atkinson has set a goal of $500 for this fundraiser. Hiatt said organizers are interested in more vendors. She said vendors will be charged a $15 set-up fee and donate a door prize which will be used to raise additional money to benefit SCAT’s programs. The program includes an opportunity for cancer survivors to be honored and participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and enjoy a day of fun activities.
“We have a lot of (charity) walks here in the summer so I thought about doing something different this year,” said Hiatt. “Veteran’s Park has supported us so much with this. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response with Grigg’s passing. Everybody misses him. The whole town knew him.”
Hampton, who died around two-and-a-half years ago, sustained a brain injury at birth which left him with handicaps. He graduated from Mount Airy High School and worked with his father, Porter, at the family business, Triangle Dry Cleaners. Hiatt said Griggs Hampton’s lifelong activities included a great interest and knowledge of all sports — he attended practically every Mount Airy Bears game — and he collected thousands of dollars for The March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
“Cancer is on the rise and it has hit so many. There is such a need but we don’t have the means to help them all,” said Hiatt. “This is why events like this are so important.” Persons may obtain more information on the cruise in and ride by calling Donna Hiatt at 336-789-8855.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.