People in the coastal region are revving up their engines in anticipation of the Just Helping Jimmy benefit ride Saturday.
Individuals on motorcycles, in classic cars and classic trucks, and even a few in the every-day-run-of-the-mill vehicle will take a ride around Springfield, Guyton, Meldrim and Rincon to help raise money for Jimmy Morris’s recovery fund.
Chief Magistrate Preston Exley is even participating, driving a golf cart for part of the distance. Organizers Mike Waldron, Brian Lowe and Wayne Guhl say all vehicles are welcome to participate for a $10 per-vehicle registration fee.
It doesn’t matter how many people ride in the car, the registration fee covers the vehicle.
“If you can fit six people in your car, it’s still only $10,” Waldron said.
They decided to keep the registration fee low so that if people wanted to donate more, they could. And the way it looks now, the ride should bring out quite a crowd.
“It’s gotten a lot bigger than we ever thought it was going to be,” Waldron said.
Members of motorcycle clubs such as the Red Knights International Firefighters, the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Club, the Wingmen and Titan plan to participate.
Local businesses have contributed to the benefit ride as well, giving the organizers an opportunity to hold a raffle.
Wal-Mart donated a 32-inch plasma television. B& S Feed gave a gift certificate for Georgia boots. Fuller Chevrolet contributed $300 worth of service work. Other items up for raffle include chicken wing baskets from Hooters, Harley Davidson equipment and work clothes from Effingham Hardware and Supply.
Tickets will be sold during registration, which begins at 9 a.m. at the old courthouse/new courthouse parking lot in Springfield. Hooters’ employees will draw names after the ride on the steps of the courthouse. Individuals must be present to win.
The motorcycles will go first with the classic cars and trucks next and all other vehicles last. Three Effingham County sheriff’s vehicles will lead the ride out, and police officers in Rincon, Springfield and Guyton will assist with traffic in their respective cities.
“The ride takes about 2.5 hours to complete,” said Waldron. “It’s exactly 62 miles.”
All proceeds from the event will be deposited in the Jimmy Morris Recovery Fund at Citizen’s Bank. The Morris family will have a police escort to the bank to deposit the funds.
Morris, a former Effingham County Magistrate Court constable, crashed his ultralight plane earlier this year. He is currently under doctor’s care at a private recovery center in Savannah.
For more information on the ride or on how to donate, call Mike Waldron at 665-2671.