Friday, May 28, 2010

The 3rd Annual Roll Like Marcus Memorial Harley Davidson Ride


The 3rd Annual Roll Like Marcus Memorial Harley davidson Ride will take place on Memorial Day,May 30th 2010. More than 200 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to rev up their engines down south Halsted Street from 115th Street to Union Park on Randolph Street on Sunday morning, May 30, 2010, in honor of Marcus Hendricks and fallen police officer Thomas Wortham, IV, both killed by senseless gun violence. This event is sponsored by the Marcus Hendricks Memorial Foundation. The participants will ride for peace and unity in the community and to promote mentoring as one of the solutions to violence.
The first Roll Like Marcus event was held on May 4, 2008, two weeks after Marcus Hendricks was fatally shot while in the office of his plumbing business in the Sheldon Heights neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. An avid Harley-Davidson enthusiast, Marcus' friends from the biker community joined together for a ride to commemorate Marcus - a father, a husband, a business man and a community supporter on what would have been his 35th birthday. Since Marcus' death, his family has created the Marcus Hendricks Memorial Foundation to promote the tenets of his life: hard-work, family and commitment to community. As a plumber Marcus created his own successful plumbing and sewer business. He supported the community by employing individuals whom he felt deserved a second chance and an opportunity to become self-sufficient and provide for their families.

Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV was murdered on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, and the ride this year will pay special tribute to Officer Wortham. Cynthia Flowers of the Marcus Hendricks Memorial Foundation says, "Officer Wortham's death should spark outrage from the community. Like my brother he was doing everything right. My heart is bleeding for this family and for the fallen officer's father who had to go to war against domestic terrorists in our communities, to defend his son's life!"

The Marcus Hendricks Memorial Foundation is asking motorcycle officers from the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police to lead the parade this year. Additionally, Bikers of Chicago, the Chicago biker community and bikers from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana are invited to participate in this event. Many Bikers in the Chicago land area and the biker community represent a cross section of professionals, businessmen, members of law enforcement with a vast array of resources and talent that can be shared within our communities.

Just as men and women are being asked to Roll (r-o-l-l) like Marcus, they are also being encouraged to "role (r-o-l-e)" like Marcus by making hard-work, family and community development a way of life. Participants in this years ride will have the opportunity to sign-up as mentors in the local schools. This ride is also meant to link community advocacy groups who are actively working within Chicago neighborhoods with bike clubs and individual mentors to help develop a partnership to impact positive changes in our communities.

Since Marcus' murder his sister Cynthia Flowers has committed herself to working towards improving education, family integrity and community unity. Flowers states, "When the youth speak about the reasons violence occurs they often refer to adults who don't care. Through our ride we want to show those youth that there are plenty of adults and organizations that do care. We want to show them that members of the biking community, to which my brother belonged, not only say they care but many of them have programs that give back directly to the community."

Darryl Jackson, president of the Chicago Harley Boyz & Girlz states, "We are very selective about where we spend our charitable efforts. We want to see the money that we raise do good for the people within our community. Our club provides hands on support and mentoring throughout the year. " Jackson stated that the Chicago Harley Boyz and Girlz sponsors an open gym basketball league, "We've rented gym time at Robeson High School and we allow the teenagers to come in and use the gym and play ball instead of hanging in the streets."

Frank Kimbrough a Harley rider who runs a successful 5Linx communication enterprise has mentored young men on the values of ethics on creating their own wealth legally. Kimbrough is currently mentoring 3 young men from the Auburn-Gresham community and has challenged them to avoid drugs and gangs in exchange for stipends to work to develop their own businesses.

Registration for the event begins at 8 AM at 714 W. 115th Street, in Chicago, on Sunday, May 30, 2010. The ride begins at 10am and will proceed from 115th and Halsted Street in Chicago and travel north through several of the neighborhoods most affected by gun violence. The ride will end at Union Park (1501 W. Randolph)Chicago Park District and will feature a family-style picnic.

The MHM foundation has invited many other advocacy partners to greet families at Union Park who are seeking comfort, support or resources to combat violence. Members of The Black Star Project's DEBORAH MOVEMENT, a women led initiative with a mission to reclaim our down trodden communities, will be present to facilitate organizing efforts to activate, engage and inspire Chicago area citizens to improve the quality of life in our communities.

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