Families, friends and the community united in Harlem on Saturday in support of the victims of an April 1 motorcycle crash, helping raise money for their medical treatment.
Harlem United Methodist Church held the charity motorcycle ride and carnival to benefit the victims of the multiple-vehicle crash, which left one man dead and nine others severely injured.
"It's good to hear the sound of the pipes again," said Elisia Hodges, one of those injured in the crash. "It's a wonderful feeling. It's deeply comforting to know how much people care. There is a great sense of brotherhood here."
About 50 riders, representing area motorcycle organizations such as The Steel Horsemen M.C., The Buffalo Soldiers and The Christian Motorcycle Association, participated in the charity ride.
Many area groups donated time and services to the carnival, which included a raffle, children's games and a dunking booth.
The city of Harlem donated tents and a stage, which featured area musicians and speakers.
"I feel really great about helping the victims," said Amber Marcum, 17, a member of the Thomson Competitive Bulldogs Cheerleading Squad, who helped run the games. "We're really having a lot of fun out here."
Vendors donated all proceeds to assist with the victims' staggering medical bills.
"I'm really very emotional," said Donald "Lucky" Birkinshaw, a victim of the wreck. "I'm having trouble not going around and thanking every single person here."
The victims were the centerpiece of the event, spending the majority of the festival chatting with well-wishers and supporters and posing for pictures.
"We just wanted to come out and give a hand," said Jeremy Graham, a member of the band A Hundred Proof, which donated time to perform at the event. "It feels good knowing we're helping these guys out."
Despite the severity of the wreck, the victims said their spirits are far from broken.
"I told my therapist, on April 1, 2007, one year after the accident, I will be on my bike, come rain or shine," Hodges said.
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