Bay Cliff campers saddle up for a ride to remember

Campers at Bay Cliff Health Camp were treated to a surprise last night – a chance to see Harley-Davidson motorcycles up close.

The Superior Chapter of the Harley Owners Group rolled into Big Bay last night to present the camp’s summer flag, which was flown over the U.S. Capitol on Memorial Day. After the flag raising ceremony, bikers ate dinner with campers before heading out to give the kids a chance to sit on their Harleys.

“I don’t like to brag, but this has become one of the highlights of these young people’s camping experience, just to see motorcycles come up here and get a chance to sit on them…you leave here a little bit changed, you really do. You have to be pretty tough not to be moved,” H.O.G.S. Superior Chapter director Frank Donckers said.

“Our kids are in physical and occupational therapy and speech and hearing a vision, and they’re learning skills to help them in life, but we’re also a camp, and we need to have a lot of fun,” Bay Cliff Health Camp director Tim Bennett said. “When these bikes ride in, for kids with disabilities, a motorcycle is a symbol of freedom and excitement and riding off into the wild blue yonder, so they have the same dreams as other kids do.”

The Superior Chapter has been coming to Bay Cliff for a number of years, and does fundraising for the camp year-round.

“These Harley owners that ride these motorcycles have huge hearts, they’re here for us every year, they raffle of a motorcycle for Bay Cliff. All throughout the year they’re looking for ways to help us,” Bennett said. “If it wasn’t for the H.O.G.S. and the Christian Motorcycle Association who’s joined them, and a lot of others that believe in our kids, we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be able to do these things for these children.”

“We do this every year, raise funds for Bay Cliff because we thoroughly enjoy it,” Donckers said. “It’s an honor, it’s a privilege to come up here and spend a little time with the campers.”

The H.O.G.S. have raised over $1.3 million for Bay Cliff in the past 20 years.  More information on the Superior Chapter can be found here, and more information on Bay Cliff can be found on the camp’s website.