With the turn of the ignition, Roar on the Shore is officially here. Putting on an event this large is, of course, expensive, but once the bills are paid, the rest of the money goes to an Erie non-profit organization. And, we know that one of Erie’s longest-standing non-profits is benefiting from this year’s event.
175,000 bikers are roaring into Erie for a weekend of fun, and when they leave, they can feel good knowing their dollars are helping underprivileged youth.
Ralph Pontillo of Roar says, “This is our way of coming together as an association and as a group to say, you know, we support our local non-profits and we need to be there when they need us.”
In the last 11 years, Roar has raised $840,000 for local non-profits. And, Pontillo says, “The money that’s raised from the bikers registering for different rides and from the sale of these official Roar on the Shore t-shirts, will be going to help one of Erie’s oldest nonprofits – The Sarah Reed Children’s Center.”
The Sarah Reed Children’s Center helps underprivileged children with behavioral or mental health issues. The center is working to give these children a good education, around the clock medical care, and a safe place to live.
Gary Bukowski, Director of Development for Sarah Reed, says, “It’s not that they’re bad, it’s where they came from because many of these kids… they’re great kids, but it’s the people who treated them badly.”
Now, they’re nearing a remarkable anniversary; 150 years! And, to celebrate the big anniversary, they’re investing in the thousands of children they help.
Bukowski says, “Every cent that we are to receive is going right to that building behind me!” Bukowski was pointing to a $1.1 million, 5,200 square foot residence hall on their Millcreek campus.
The non-profit says it will be tangible proof of how your dollars spent on a fun-filled weekend are going to help Erie’s children.
Their expansion project doesn’t end there. By the time they hit the 150th anniversary in just three short years, they hope to have three other, brand new buildings on that campus.
So, while you’re down at the event, feel free to spend those dollars and feel good that you’re making a difference.
Some of the money that will benefit the Sarah Reed Children’s Center will be collected from sales of the official Roar on the Shore tee shirt! New this year, Erie-based Iron Empire Clothing is the official tee shirt sponsor. The local business hopes to sell 5-7,000 shirts over the weekend. They range from $20-$30. Iron Empire is set up right next to the Roar official headquarters tent.