Countywide : Harley Riders Head Out on the Highway for Charity

Dozens of leather-clad Harley-Davidson riders rolled out of Santa Ana in formation Friday morning on a weekend road trip for charity.

Jay Blakslee, founder of Harleys for the Homeless, said last year’s ride raised about $35,000 for HomeAid, a nonprofit group that builds and renovates shelters for the homeless.

The goal of this year’s event, a three-day trek across the Mojave Desert, is $50,000 from corporate contributions and participation fees paid by the riders: $35 apiece, $15 extra for a passenger.


Michael Lennon, HomeAid’s executive director, said the money raised this year will help the organization complete work on a women’s shelter.

Blakslee said he hit on the idea of the annual ride because he knew how easy it is to persuade Harley aficionados to hit the road. “It is an awful lot of fun for everybody,” he said.

Leaving from several destinations, the riders met for lunch in Victorville before heading for Whiskey Pete’s Hotel and Casino in Primadonna, Nev. From there, the group will go to Las Vegas today and head home Sunday.

Gregory (Speed) Schreiber, a Laguna Hills resident and charter member of the American Thunder Harley, said he made the charity ride last year and persuaded several fellow club members to join him this year.

“Most of us put on suits and ties every day,” he said as he surveyed the assembled riders Friday morning in their chaps, leather jackets and boots, “but you would never know it.”