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Posted: July 8, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Bike ride raises funds for bulletproof vests

Holly Cripps had lots of incentive for organizing the first Ride to Provide motorcycle fundraiser for the Porterdale Police Department — her husband Jason is a Porterdale officer.

Cripps came to the Porterdale City Council in late spring with her idea for a fundraiser for new bulletproof vests. She said the vests currently used by the officers are a decade old and well worn.

With the council’s approval, she planned the ride in 27 days.

"It’s kind of like having a baby," Cripps said. "You nurture it, you birth it, put it out there and hope it’s not ugly."

While she had hoped for around 200 bikers, with such short notice only 54 participated. Still, she was able to raise $2,070, or approximately half the funds needed to purchase five new vests for the department.

"I’ll be shopping around for the best deals," said Wayne Digby, Porterdale Police chief.

City Manager Tom Fox said the city should be able to use funds from its budget to make up the difference for the vests and encouraged the council to approve the use of those funds as soon as possible.

In his regular report to the council, Digby presented a chart that showed all incidents in the city had increased from the first six months of 2008 by 6.5 percent. He said with crime and accidents on the rise, these vests are a good investment for the city.

Digby presented Cripps with a wooden plaque for her efforts in organizing the fundraiser.

She said next year the fundraiser should draw even more bikers because of how much the participants this year enjoyed traveling through the area.

"Some of the bikers said this was the best ride they had ever been on," Cripps said, "and that’s a big deal."

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