The Home of Grace needs you! The wonderful people that work diligently to help those with various addictions now need your help. By supporting their valiant efforts you will be investing in the lives of those in your community and beyond.
This year’s Home of Grace Ride is presented by Ingalls Shipbuilding and will have the governor of the great state of Mississippi Phil Bryant and his wife, Deborah, leading the way! All proceeds will benefit the Home of Grace Addiction Recovery Scholarship Program.
We contacted Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, the HOG Ride founder, to get his views on this year’s ride, Home of Grace and to get his view on what this ride and festival means to him. Here is what the governor had to say:
Q. You must get hundreds of requests for your participation in events. Why do you, a busy public servant, choose to take the time to be a part of this event? Q. How did your office come to be involved with the Home of Grace and this event?
I believe in the work that Home of Grace does and have participated in the HOG ride before. In fact, I rode in the inaugural HOG ride in 2010 when I was Lieutenant Governor and had Gov. Mike Huckabee join me. I also rode in last year’s HOG ride.
Q. How long have you been riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and what type of HD do you ride now? Is it customized? Q. Do you have more than one HD?
I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was about 16 and have been riding a Harley for about 7 years now. I have a pearl white ’06 Road King. I also own a 1982 Suzuki GS1000L.
Q. Do other members of your family ride? If so, will they be joining you on this ride?
First Lady Deborah Bryant will ride as a passenger with me. She often accompanies me on rides if her schedule allows, and she rode with me last year (Sept. 28) for our “Ride for the Cure” to benefit breast cancer awareness.
Q. Have you ever known anyone that has been helped by the Home of Grace? The Home of Grace helps people with addiction problems. We all have our own demons to battle in this life. Are there any demons you have battled in your life that made you more able to relate to those in need of the services that the Home of Grace provides?
I have and through the HOG ride, I’ve met even more people who have been helped by Home of Grace. I believe it is so important to help those who are trapped in an addiction lifestyle, and the Christian principles embodied by Home of Grace truly transform lives.
Q. If you could take a month off and ride anywhere you wanted, where would you go and what sights would you want to see?
I would love to travel Route 66 and see the old shops and hotels that reflect the Glory Days of the American highway and American bikers. I would also love to have the time to ride the full Run for the Wall. I’ve ridden through Mississippi with that group several times as part of the Trail of Honor in Mississippi, and I’d love to be able to go all the way to Washington, DC to the Vietnam Memorial with them.
Q. What does this years ride mean to you?
I hope that we continue to raise awareness for the good work Home of Grace does. I’d like to see this event grow to another level and include 500 or 600 riders.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to talk about or anything you would like to tell the people of South Mississippi?
On October 4, 2014, we’ll have a “Governor’s Ride for the Warriors” to raise money for wounded warriors in Mississippi (a separate effort from the Wounded Warrior Project). We’ll meet at Southern States Utility Trailer Sales in Ridgeland and will ride down to the Gulfport Harbor. We’d love to have as many riders as possible for this event. Information is available at http://www.woundedwarriorsofms.com/GovernorsRide
The police escorted charity motorcycle ride will begin at the Trent Lott Airport at 8301 Saracennia Road in Moss Point on Saturday, September 27, 2014 with registration at 7:30 a.m. All those wishing to ride are encouraged to preregister through the Home of Grace website at http://www.hogride.org.
If you preregister, the cost is only $25 for you to ride and $10 for your passenger. The cost of the ride will go up to $35 for each bike the day of the event. Payments are due by September 12, 2014 and can be mailed to Home of Grace, P.O. Box 5009, Vancleave, MS. 39565.
The kickoff ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will feature jets flying over during our nation’s anthem.
Riders will receive a ride t-shirt, a Chick-Fil-A breakfast and a collectible insignia pin along with the rare opportunity to ride with the governor! There are different pin levels that can be earned by raising funds to go toward the charity. So, even if you are not a motorcycle rider you can still be a part of this exciting event. Call Home of Grace at 228-826-5283 to learn more.
The ride will end at First Baptist Church Gulfport where Ron Myers Productions has put together a Family Friendly HOG Festival to rival any attraction on the coast! There will be a car and motorcycle show, live music, door prizes, games for the kids, vendors and contests. The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. on the church grounds located at 12190 Hwy. 605.
To become a vendor, you can contact Ron Meyers Productions at http://www.ronmeyersproductions.com and follow the HOG Ride link.
Sponsorships are still available and are being accepted at various levels.
Sponsorship levels begin at $100 and Home of Grace coordinators will accept donations of any amount. Sponsors can go to http://www.hogride/sponsor or call 228-826-5283 to register and learn more.
In-kind gifts are also needed and can include food services, door prizes and other items to give away to festival goers and riders.
The goal for this year’s ride and festival is for $35,000 to be raised for the HOG Addiction Recovery Scholarship Program to help men and women get the help they need. The money will assist with covering fees for counselors, 3 months of housing, 3 meals a day and classroom instruction. The fee for each person going through the program is actually less than the true cost. That is why this charity ride and festival is so important to the Home of Grace.
HOG has two campuses: a men’s campus in Vancleave and a women’s campus is in Gautier. HOG is able to serve approximately 120 men and 40 women at any given time. Participants often work on the campuses while going through the program. The HOG also provides and “After Care Program” to assist those coming out of the program with keeping their lives on track.
HOG covers over 30 different types of addiction at their facilities and tries to never make the fee an issue with regards to helping anyone in need. The standards of compassion were set early on when Rev. Bill Barton founded the HOG in 1965. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Home of Grace where Bill Barton’s grandson, Josh Barton serves as the Executive Director for the 501-(c) 3, non-profit organization.
“Home of Grace serves people from all across the country. In 2013, we had 524 residents from 14 states and many from our own area. We have an incredible success rate and we need the community to help us to continue to help others,” Barton said.
So, even if it’s just a few dollars or the donation of a gift certificate for a door prize, you can help! Just remember, addiction touches us all in our community and the work these fine folks do can only continue with your support.