Motorcyclists return for event to help local shelter

Motorcyclists return for event to help local shelter

HOUGHTON COUNTY — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Amanda L’Esperance has the story of how motorcyclists in the Copper Country are showing their support.

The Barbara Kettle Gundlach shelter for domestic abuse victims holds an annual Ride Against Abuse event. Supporters of the shelter gathered in Calumet for opening ceremonies before the ride.

This is the second annual Ride Against Abuse event held by the BKG shelter.

The BKG shelter’s Executive Director Mary Niemela said, “I thought last year let’s make some noise. I thought well, maybe we’ll get a couple of bikes and we ended up with 23 bikes last year. It doesn’t matter how many show up, it’s just an awesome event.”

This year, 30 bikers and 25 bikes rode across the Copper Country, through Hancock, over the Portage Lift Bridge and through Houghton to show their support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

This month, the Barbara Kettle Gundlach shelter celebrates its 35th anniversary of being a funded shelter.

Niemela said, “We provide services for domestic violence victims and their children. We do provide services for males as well as females. Even though we can’t house a male at our facility we would provide another safe place for them. We’re a 10 bed shelter and we’ve been at capacity for a long time. That’s how much is going on in our community.”