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Stacy Beasley, center, poses with her donation and those of many others to County Roads Rescue during a food and supply drive initiated by the Independent Riders of Jacksonville,.Club members pictured are (l-r) Vice President Michael Bobbitt, Secretary Ray Goodman, Devin Goodman, Jamie Eubanks and Treasurer Ronnie McCreight.

Independent Riders of Jacksonville collected donations of money and supplies Saturday, Oct. 17, on behalf of County Roads Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter at 601 Woodlawn Ave. in Jacksonville.

Members of the club met in the parking lot of Atwood’s, raising over 500 pounds of dog food, 50 pounds of cat food and $718 in cash. Other items received included dog treats, a dog kennel, cat litter, toys, six cases of bleach, 12 bottles of detergent, paper towels, cleaning supplies, several bags of zip ties, blankets and towels. All donations received will go to rescue operations and needs at County Roads Rescue.

In addition to donations collected for County Roads Rescue, club members will be providing labor and material to finish out a building on shelter property, according to Bobbitt.

“We’ve got some people we’re working with to help buy the plywood and we’re all carpenters, a lot of us in our club,” Bobbitt said.

Bobbitt did give credit to businesses which donated during the food and supply drive.

“We’re going to give a big shout out to our local hotels, LaQuinta, Holiday Inn Express, Baymont. They’ve donated a lot of sheets and old blankets. We probably got about 500 from the hotels. Then Dollar Tree here in town donated a lot of supplies as well. Our club members, as well, have bought, so we started out with a pretty good bit, but our cash donations this morning have been really overwhelming. We didn’t expect it,” Vice President Michael Bobbitt said.

Community service is the core and reason for the club, according to Bobbitt.

“We’re going to do a lot for our community,” Bobbitt said.

The group has plans to organize or participate in community service events on a monthly basis.

“We love our community as much as we love riding motorcycles,” Secretary Ray Goodman said.

The club, established only three months ago, has been part of a food drive for Iron Horse Ministry in Tyler, a shoe drive for St. Paul’s Childen’s Home in Tyler and fed 130 families hurricane evacuees.

Independent Riders intend to give 10 Thanksgiving meals to families in need and are already collecting names. Anyone in need can submit their name and phone number to be placed in a drawing for one of the ten meals. Names can be submitted on the Facebook page Independent Riders of Jacksonville or at the clubhouse, 805 N. Bolton. All names will be kept confidential.

Names will be drawn Monday, Nov. 16 and the Thanksgiving meals can be picked up between 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Member Jamie Eubanks and Treasurer Ronnie McCreight were also present to accept donations along with Bobbitt and Goodman. President Matthew Bobbitt could not be present due to work.

The club maintains a Facebook page, Independent Riders of Jacksonville.

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