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If you know bikers, you don't have to ask them twice to ride.

Last year, the Freedom Riders, a group of motorcyclists out of the New York metro area, accompanied the 9/11 artifact from the World Trade Center to Huntington for a dedication ceremony as part of 9/11 memorial services at Spring Hill Cemetery.

This year, the Freedom Riders (about 35 bikers from NY, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) are coming back. The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District and the Harley-Davidson dealership, 408 4th St., Huntington, are teaming up for a fundraiser called Freedom Ride for Play, a dam-ride themed poker run that will start at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Registration begins at noon, and bikers will draw a poker hand of cards picked up along the ride to the Greenup Dam, the Yatesville Lake Dam, the Beech Fork Lake Dam and with the first and fifth cards drawn in Huntington.

The winner of the poker run will receive $1,000. Second place gets a $500 gift certificate to the Harley-Davidson shop. while the third place prize is a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, compliments of iHeart Media.

Once back at Heritage Station, the Park District will have a big street party complete with music from the Oakwood Road Band from 7 to 10 p.m., as well as BBQ dinners (available for $10), soft drinks and beer concessions. There will also be some fun entertainment including a mechanical bull (with the longest winner getting a prize).

Go online at www.ghprd.org to register or call the dealership.

Brady said the Freedom Riders contacted him several weeks ago and said they were coming back and wanted to do a ride on that Sunday.

"We said, 'Let's see what we can figure out,' and so we are working on a fundraiser called 'Freedom Ride for Play,' " Brady said. "It just so happens that one of the leaders of the ride is paralyzed from the waist down, but she still rides. So I went to Black Sheep Harley, and they did a Freedom ride last year, so in one day this became the Freedom Ride to Play. This park we are building at St. Cloud Commons is all-inclusive for all scopes of abilities. The concept is to put people with various disabilities together with people who are fully able-bodied, and we see past that. It doesn't matter to me if you are in a wheelchair, let's go play."

Registration is $20 per bike or $60 per single (for the solo elite package of merch and dinner) or $100 for a double elite package.

Brady said they are hoping for a really large turnout, since they had nearly 170 bikers last year, the first year for the Freedom Ride.

"These are beautiful rides and for people from around the state and people for out of state, they are coming to do some of the best motorcycle riding you can do," Brady said. "We are hoping for in excess of 300 riders. They had 167 last year for the Freedom Ride, and I have another 60 to 70 bikes we are sure about it, so I think we will hook up another 100 or more."

Brady said he hopes the event can really help kick-start further interest in rallying the community to step and fund the $1.2 million all-inclusive playground that GameTime, a PlayCore company, and Cunningham Recreation, which supplies GameTime equipment, would build at St. Cloud Commons.

The Park District started fundraising in the summer of 2016 and has raised nearly $400,000. Efforts have included everything from donors sending checks from around the country to Park District employees such as Lauren Carte spending 24 hours on a giant inflatable duck pool toy to help raise awareness and money for the playground.

"The all-inclusive playground is knocking on the door of $400,000, and this is only the first year," Brady said. "I want to do double that next year, and try and hit the goal. I need to find the right way to rally the community like we did with the dog park. I know we need dollars and not votes, but I think we can do it."

You can go online at www.ghprd.org to make a tax-deductible donation to the playground and to learn more about the Park District's four different 9/11 Memorial Events at Spring Hill Cemetery.

Never Forget: Here's a look at the four different upcoming 9/11 Events being planned by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District:

THE FREEDOM RIDE FOR PLAY: Registration is noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Black Sheep Harley-Davidson dealership, 408 4th St., Huntington. This is a dam-ride themed poker run that will start at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Registration begins at noon and bikers will draw a poker hand of cards picked up along the ride to the Greenup Dam, the Yatesville Lake Dam, the Beech Fork Lake Dam, with the first and fifth cards drawn in Huntington. The winner of the poker run will receive $1,000. Second place gets $500 gift certificate to the Harley-Davidson shop. while the third place prize is a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, compliments of iHeart Media. Once back at Heritage Station, the Park District will have a big street party complete with music from the Oakwood Road Band from 7 to 10 p.m., as well as BBQ dinners (available for $10), soft drinks and beer concessions. There will also be some fun entertainment including a mechanical bull (with the longest winner getting a prize).

Go online at www.ghprd.org to register or call the dealership. Bike registration is $20 or $60 for dinner and merch package.

THE HEALING FIELD: On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Park District will place more than 3,000 American flags at Spring Hill Cemetery for the only Healing Field in West Virginia. Flags will be on display through Sept. 13 and can be purchased for $35 at Spring Hill Cemetery. Proceeds benefit the Spring Hill Cemetery Memorial Bell Tower Fund. Call Eldora McCoy at 304-696-5954 or email emccoy@ghprd.org.

PATRIOT DAY CEREMONY: At 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at Spring Hill Cemetery. Join the Park District as they dedicate a new 9/11 Memorial Plaza being built around the World Trade Center Artifact Memorial. The new plaza, which will be on the National Register of 9/11 Memorials, will be unveiled during the ceremony.

BELL TOWER 5K RUN/WALK: Set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Spring Hill Cemetery, 1427 Norway Ave., Huntington. Come out and enjoy this closed course that will start and finish near the Memorial Bell Tower in the historic Huntington cemetery. Enjoy panoramic views of the city of Huntington, the Marshall Memorial, the Healing Field, and the Memorial Bell Tower as you run or walk through the cemetery. Proceeds benefit the memorial Bell Tower Fund. Early registration is $25 (until Sept. 1), and student registration is $10. Register online at www.aptiming.com or go online at www.ghprd.org

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