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Bikers take a ride for LARC Ranch

Posted: March 8, 2008 11:54 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Los Angeles Retarded Citizens' Foundation Ranch resident Charles Kegley waves to his friends as he sits atop a motorcycle Saturday afternoon at the first annual Bikers for Christ benefit ride. The ride helped raise money for the LARC Ranch.

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About 70 bikers showed their support for LARC Ranch on Saturday by taking part in the first Motorcycle Poker Run, sponsored by Bikers for Christ.

The goal of the event was to not only increase awareness for the Los Angeles Retarded Citizens' Foundation, but to also raise money for the Saugus ranch and its planned pool area, which burned down during the October 2007 wildfires.

Robert Scott, an elder for Bikers for Christ - an international Christian motorcycle ministry - said his group wanted to help out LARC Ranch once they heard about the organization.

"We just fell in love with this location," said Scott, a member of the Bikers for Christ Camarillo chapter.

On Saturday, Bikers for Christ, along with other Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, set out from LARC Ranch on a scenic 70-mile drive around the Santa Clarita Valley.

Riders from as far as Orange County and Ojai showed up to support the cause.

After the two-hour ride, the Bikers for Christ lined up their motorcycles and took time to relax with the live music and food.

Fresh from the motorcycle run, Richard Morris of the San Fernando Valley chapter parked his bike and made way for the festivities.

He said it felt great to be able to help out while still having fun with it.

Shortly after, Darlene Ratlief and her husband, Ron, led a pack of riders up Bouquet Canyon Road and into the ranch.

The Carson residents said the ride went great and Darlene saw the event as something particularly important as she works with severely handicapped kids.

The run also gave the 102 residents of LARC Ranch a chance to meet with the riders and take photos on a motorcycle.

Kathy Sturkey, executive director of LARC Ranch, said she felt honored that Bikers for Christ wanted to help.

Since this is the first time Bikers for Christ paired up with LARC Ranch, Sturkey was unsure how much money the event would raise.

"Even if we raise $300 or $400, I'll be fine," she said, adding, "I see this as a really cool thing to do."
However, Scott and Sturkey both plan to make the motorcycle run an annual event.

Sturkey said the ranch will be putting the money raised towards its new pool area.

"We lost our pool facility to the fire," she said, referring to last fall's Buckweed Fire.

She also said that they have been experiencing problems with their electricity and need a generator.

Once complete, she said the ranch hopes to include a physical therapy room.

She views the future pools as a source of "no-impact exercise for anyone."

The next fundraiser for LARC Ranch will be its annual event in September.

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