GREENSBURG — With nicknames like Dozer, Smoke, Ratchet, Spanky, Gator, Bean, Full Draw and Iron Head, one might not expect members of local motorcycle club “New Breed” to be activist or charitable types.
Don’t tell that to the family of the late Brandon Hempstead, who graduated from Greensburg Community High School in June, but died Sept. 5 from a previously undetected congenital heart condition. For the Hempsteads, in fact, the members of New Breed, are angels.
Brandon’s sudden passing left his grieving mother, Treasa Hempstead, with an unexpected deluge of bills. The family’s financial woes were so severe, in fact, that Brandon was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery without a tombstone.
Enter New Breed. One of the member’s wives in the group – Summer Maple – works with Hempstead at Aramark.
“I’ve known Treasa since I was a kid,” Summer Maple said.
Summer’s husband, Wayne Maple – aka “Smoke” – said that everyone in the club agreed that helping Treasa was New Breed’s duty.
New Breed Member Bobby Palmer – aka “Dozer” – revealed that, from the beginning, the group’s primary mission has been “helping people in need, mostly children.”
This past Saturday, in Brandon’s honor, members of New Breed, along with members and friends of the Hempstead family, embarked on a 100-mile benefit ride from Wallpe’s Keg in Greensburg. The ride itself was organized by family friend Jesse Moody, and passed through Napoleon, Versailles and North Vernon, before ending at the Decatur County Conservation Club. The event continued at the Conservation Club with a 50/50 drawing, a cornhole tournament, dinner, drinks, live music and an auction, lasting well into the evening.
Treasa Hempstead told the Daily News the event raised $1,100, not counting the $520 New Breed paid to purchase a headstone; the money to pay for the monument came from the group’s general fund, Palmer explained, which is funded through the various fundraisers the group has held throughout 2013. Hempstead didn’t know about New Breed’s contribution and on Saturday, when the group presented her with a certificate for a headstone, she was caught completely unaware.