Nate Weckop (left) of the Greensburg Eagles Riders presents Decatur County Special Olympics athletes Andrew Bryant, Jen Johannigman, Jess Johannigman and Marguerite Dudgeon a check for $8,000.

GREENSBURG – The Greensburg Eagle Riders presented Decatur County Special Olympics with a check for $8,000 recently at Aerie 927 in Greensburg.

Eagles Riders fundraising organizer Nate Weckop talked about the donation and why the Eagles Riders support Special Olympics.

“We’ve been supporting Decatur County Special Olympics for about five or six years now, and there’s not a better cause or a more appreciative group for what we do,” he said.

The Eagles Riders is a very active motorcycle riding group started in 1987 as a social group, but also as a fundraising entity.

“There are 16 Eagle Riders groups around the state of Indiana – probably about 350 members statewide,” Weckop said. “Greensburg has right at 60 members now.”

“We started seven years ago helping charities here and there, but became good friends with the Special Olympics athletes who are not funded by anyone. They operate completely off of funds they raise on their own,” Weckop said.

“And they have some outstanding sponsors around the state and the country, but it just seemed like something we needed to get into,” he added.

As a main fundraiser, the Eagle Riders do a yearly rodeo at Hidden Paradise Campgrounds the second week of August.

“The same stunts performed at a regular rodeo, just on motorcycles,” Weckop explained.

“It’s a lot of fun, and Lynn at Hidden Paradise sponsored the rodeo the first time, and she’s been a constant supporter ever since,” Weckop said.

The Greensburg Eagles have “poker runs” and “boot drives” (soliciting drivers at different intersections in town to fill their boots with money) at differing times throughout the year to fund events and charities dear to their heart.

“Several years ago, the Eagle Riders approached us and asked if their charity rides could benefit Special Olympics somehow,” Decatur County Special Olympics organizer Jenny Maddux said. “We said ‘absolutely’ and since then, they’ve been a great support.”

Maddux continued, saying, “And not just financial support. There’s a group of them that readily come to our fundraisers every year, and so their support as friends is so great for our athletes.”

Maddux talked about other SO fundraisers.

“And they always come to our spaghetti dinner and pay for their meals when they really shouldn’t have to,” she said. “They come and eat, and for any fundraiser we have during the year, they’re always asking if they can be a part, and that means so much to us.”

“We definitely prize their friendship so much more than the money,” she said.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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