It’s time for motorcyclists to show their bikes and raise money for kids.
The second Showme Cruise begins today and kicks off the fifth annual Rolla Rally, which raises money for Missouri Special Olympics. For $35 motorcyclists can register at the Mid-Missouri Fairgrounds in Rolla. Registration begins at 5 a.m. and at 7 a.m. bikers begin a 526-mile, five-city ride to raise money for Special Olympics.
As the motorists return to Rolla at about 7:45 p.m., they will ride through the gates of the fairgrounds to start the rest of the Rolla Rally, which continues throughout the weekend.
The riders will arrive in Columbia at about 1 p.m. and stop at the Mid-America Harley Davidson store at 5704 Freedom Drive, off the Lake of the Woods exit on Interstate 70. Several business have donated goods to be raffled off during that time.
Last year during the inaugural ride the Columbia raffle raised more than $600 for Special Olympics. Statewide, the Rolla Rally raised around $35,000 and participants want to raise more this year.
About 15 riders began last year’s ride, but when the riders returned to Rolla they had about 60 riders. This year they are expected to start with about 50 riders and pick up more on the route.
“Anyone can get on and get off anywhere throughout the cruise,” said Robert Bennett, a Columbia police officer. “A rider can register at any point along the way.”
The Rolla Rally will feature two bands tonight and Saturday night. Other events include a bike show, bike inspection and a rodeo.
“This is my second year being involved and the police department is very supportive of Special Olympics,” Bennett said. “This gives the officers more of a chance to be involved. I don’t think Special Olympics would be as effective without the police department.”
Bennett said 15 to 20 Columbia police officers will assist with this weekend’s event.