Kickstands had to be up at noon sharp.
“Otherwise, we’re leaving without you,” warned Danny Joy in front of 300 leather-vested bikers.
Bikers mounted their bikes, strapped up their helmets and got ready to ride.
And at noon on Sunday, more than 300 motorcycle engines revved as bikers followed Joy out of the Deutscher Club in Clark and embarked on the third annual Waterson Dunham Valor Ride. All proceeds from the 60-mile charity ride go to a scholarship fund for higher education.
“This is the best weather we’ve had yet,” said Joy, who organized the event. “We had a nice safe ride, with the support of the state police. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Proceeds go to the Corporal Jason L. Dunham Scholarship Foundation, a scholarship fund that has been established to honor Dunham's service and sacrifice, and to provide funding for those Marines and Corpsmen who wish to pursue a college education at a nationally recognized and accredited institution.
The ride is named after Dunham and William J. Waterson, who remains the only Clark police officer to be killed in the line of duty when he was shot on July 4, 1971.
“My heart is in this. I look forward to it every year,” said Jenliee Pressler who works for the event. “This is the best year so far.”
This year’s ride attracted more participants than any other year, Pressler said.
The state police paired with the event to escort the riders through the 60 mile ride, which lasted about an hour and a half. As the riders returned to the Deutscher Club, they were greeted by food, beer and live music. Riders stayed at the club for hours, socializing with other bikers, comparing motorcycles and listening to the entertainment.
“It’s a good event with good people,” Joy said. “I can’t wait until next year.”