VOL. 130 | NO. 66 | Monday, April 6, 2015
Dr. Mary C. McDonald
Bike Fest Leaders Rally for Positive Change
DR. MARY C. McDONALD | Special to The Daily News
It is rewarding when people who seemingly have nothing in common, of being worlds apart, find common ground. And it is nothing short of inspirational when what they build on that common ground makes life better for all of us.
The rippling effect of the unlikely relationship spreads out and lifts our community. For Clark “Preacha” Chambers, and Tom “Hoss” Lewis, that common ground is their passion for helping others and motorcycles.
Preacha Chambers is president of the nonprofit Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change, an affiliation of more than 130 motorcycle and social clubs, and a longtime participant in Memphis Bike Fest.
Bike Fest’s roots are in the black motorcycle community. Historically it was an annual event where black motorcycle clubs and the black social clubs related to them got together to celebrate motorcycles, brotherhood and tradition.
Six years ago, Bike Fest transitioned into a broad-based community event and the group’s primary means of fundraising. The group itself expanded its vision and outreach. Preacha, an agent of change for the better, has long been committed to the mission of Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change
Hoss Lewis is the executive vice president of Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change and director of the Bike Fest. He is a recent addition to the group.
Hoss, now a Memphian, is from Houston, Texas, and has been riding motorcycles since his college days at Rice University. He was drawn to the common ground of Bike Fest, and more specifically, the causes that are supported by the event.
Hoss has a mission heart and a lifetime rooted in lifting others and seeking ways to make life better for all people. Who better than bikers, the perceived risk-takers in society, to be agents of change, to challenge the status quo and to bring people together for a common cause.
Good Samaritans come in a wide array of people of all races, creeds and economic status. What Preacha, Hoss and the Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change are building on their common ground is a new way of thinking and acting and building wider bridges to cross, with room for everyone.
The group’s mission is to provide life resources to the at-risk youth who live in the most dangerous and poorest neighborhoods in Memphis, to replace old racial division with radical racial respect and to work to eliminate violence, bigotry and poverty. More importantly, they are implementing that mission by investing in Memphis one life at a time.
The group has a long-term three-phase approach. Phase one includes community activities for children such as mentoring, tutoring and wellness learning festivals. Phase two consists of the development of neighborhood safe houses for at-risk youth. The first one is scheduled to open in a renovated building in South Memphis. The third phase will be second-chance training and production facilities for adults considered to be unemployable.
Memphis Bike Fest makes it all possible.
On July 22 to 26, Mid-South Fairgrounds Tiger Lane will be that common ground for positive change.
Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a National Education Consultant, can be reached at 901-574-2956 or mcd-partners.com.