MMR

Ernie Wright, left, and Gary Laubach of the Montour Motorcycle Riders stand just outside the Danville American Legion, the club’s home base.

DANVILLE — Every time the Montour Motorcycle Riders hit the open road, it is for a good cause.

The nearly 20-year-old motorcyle club, now numbering 27 members, rides to raise money for sick children and veterans going through difficult times.

The purpose in forming the club, known as MMR, was to bring together people whose common interest is motorcycle riding and to raise money for causes club members approve at one of their monthly meetings.

MMR President Gary Laubach, 67, of Danville, a retired ironworker and a Freemason, formed the Montour Masonic Riders in 2000, but that limited the rides to Masons. The group reorganized in 2003 under its current name, but the same initials.

“A lot of friends are riding in support of people in need, especially children,” said Ernie Wright, of Danville, an MMR trustee.

The group also helps veterans.

Some of the causes the rides supported over the years included helping a young girl who lost her father unexpectedly; a 15-year-old boy with leukemia; a veteran diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease; homeless veterans; a Hunt of a Lifetime for kids 21 and under with life-threatening illnesses; Hunts for Healing, to help heal combat veterans with outdoor challenges; the Alzheimer Foundation; two stroke victims; Camp Victory, and the Ronald McDonald House. There are many others.

Anyone who wants to join in a ride doesn’t even have to have a motorcycle.

“You can own a car,” Laubach said.

The next ride is the 8th Annual Multi-Club Ride & Roast, which MMR and other motorcycle groups — Coal Motor Crue, Forsaken Syndicate and Privileged Descendants — will host on Aug. 7.

The ride, departing at noon from the Catawissa Boat Club, will help offset the medical expenses for “Baby Alexander of Berwick,” who was born on June 4 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which has resulted in seizures and a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

He recently underwent the first of numerous heart surgeries at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Registration for that ride is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The $20 cost ($10 for kids 6 to 14 and free for those under 6) includes the ride, a pig roast/chicken barbecue and beverages.

Anyone who doesn’t want to go on the ride can drop in at the boat club at 4 p.m. for the pig roast/chicken barbecue. Primitive camping is included, but no fires are allowed, and those under 21 years old must leave by dark.

Anyone who wants to join MMR can attend one of the monthly meetings, held the first Sunday of each month at noon at the Frank W. Sidler Post 40 Danville American Legion.

If the first Sunday is a holiday, the meeting is held the following Sunday, Laubach said.

“You could come and listen to our meeting,” he said.

The members also choose the next benefit ride from among applications submitted. MMR tries to do six rides a year, Wright said.

“If we don’t do a ride, we sometimes jump in and join another club’s ride,” he said.

“Other clubs are more than welcome to ride with us,” Laubach added.

The group is governed by its bylaws and elects officers, including a road captain, who plans the ride routes and stops along the way.

Wright said helping children is included in MMR’s constitution and bylaws.

Wright said the club is always interested in new members.

He invited everyone to follow and like the Montour Motorcyle Riders Facebook page.

The Danville Legion is the club’s home base and the rides usually start there.

“The American Legion has really been good to us,” Laubach said. “They’re good people.”

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