On Sunday, July 24, the annual Blues and Craft Brews Festival took place at The Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope, New Jersey. Blue Knights NJ Chapter VIII led riders from Tramontin Harley-Davidson, one of the major sponsors, or a scenic tour through rural Warren County before arriving at the inn. Featured at the festival were, of course, several blues bands and craft beers, along with food and vendors. A few of us enjoyed lunch at the historic inn, and whiled away the afternoon enjoying the delightful outdoor setting… Tramontin also hosted the Summer Fest Bike Run on August 13, again led by BKNJVIII from the dealership in Hope to Vasa Park in Budd Lake for the 4th annual Vets Summer Fest. The event raised funds for Operation Chillout, a non-profit that assists homeless veterans in New Jersey… Another event benefiting veterans, through the One Call Away Foundation, took place on July 24. Motorcyclists departed from the Southwick (Massachusetts) Recreation Center for a 70-mile ride, then returned to the Rec Center for a barbecue, raffle, and family fun. One Call Away benefits veterans that suffer from PTSD, and will be providing awareness and help with recovery and suicide prevention through the help of anonymous group support as well as individual services… The 8th annual Putting Kids and Families First Poker Run took place on July 24 in Meredith, New Hampshire, with riders gathering at Laconia Harley-Davidson. The poker run took participants to four covered bridges around the Lakes Region and then returned to Laconia H-D for a cookout. The event was started by Mike Keeler and Sean Bailey of Coldwell Banker, and the realty firm continues its support by sales associates contributing a portion of their sales during the year. Putting Kids and Families First helps support New Hampshire families that need housing services, with this year’s recipients including Chaplains Emergency Relief Fund, New Beginnings Crisis Center, Lakes Region Food Pantry and the Salvation Army Carey House… THUNDER PRESS contributor and Yonkers, New York, firefighter Mad Stork was involved in a serious motorcycle accident recently. On August 12, he was on his way from the Sturgis Rally to visit Yellowstone National Park by way of Montana when his bike got into an argument with an antelope. The accident resulted in several broken bones and was banged up pretty badly. Once he was recovered enough to leave, his brothers from the Yonkers FD drove an RV out to the hospital in Billings, Montana, where they picked him up to bring him home. Mad Stork is one of the most generous people I know, always involved in fundraising efforts such as the Ronald McDonald Run held by Yonkers FD, the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation, and other causes near and dear to his heart. So now, it’s time for all of us to help him! Please go to www.gofundme.com/2jpxj6es and help him out… Sadly, another of my friends was in a motorcycle accident; Larry Gregorio from here in New Jersey. Larry suffered a badly injured right shoulder and right hip, not to mention road rash. His medical insurance doesn’t cover motorcycle or motor vehicle accidents, so he’s in dire financial straits. Go to www.gofundme.com/2m3zz4h4 if you’d like to help another brother out.