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Sandy Journal

Domestic Violence Punched Back by Even More Motorcycle Riders

Oct 08, 2015 01:56PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

Kent McDonald and Bryan Gilmore in advance of “Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence.” The fundraiser was for Visions for the Family, a non-profit organized to serve victims of domestic violence. Photo courtesy of Velda McDonald

By Rhett Wilkinson

More motorcycle riders decided to “Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence.” In its fourth year, the event saw an increase in riders to 36. The first three years saw attendance numbers of six, 25 and 32, respectively.

It comes as great news to Bryan Gilmore. He started the function in an effort to help the non-profit Visions for the Family and Road Home Family Center. (“It kind of exploded from there,” he said.) Velda McDonald, Visions for the Family program director, also organized the event.

The guest speaker at “Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence” was Mark Koelbel of KUTV2. He autographed a guitar as part of formal functions in Sandy. There, awards were given and a raffle held. That was after the bikers traveled about 114 miles in late August through Timpanogos, American Fork, Saratoga Springs, Grantsville, Tooele and Salt Lake City.

The riders organized in a staggered formation, stretched out for about a mile-and-a-half. A safety vehicle rider said that it seemed like 100 riders were involved. Kids waved at the riders and motorcyclists honked back at them and gave candy at select spots. Andrea was one of the bike riders.

“Any awareness of domestic violence than (the event) can create, I’m all for it,” she said. “”It’s awesome that they put this together.”

“We were very successful with the fact that everybody made it from point A to point B,” Gilmore said. “And the looks on the kids’ faces was just a site to see.”

Visions for the Family is organized to serve victims of domestic violence, particularly the child witness and adolescent dating violence victims. It runs completely by volunteers. This year, it did not receive city funding as it had in the past. But McDonald spends countless hours writing grants and is optimistic that the organization will get the funds it needs, she said.