Sunshine, pavement, loud motorcycles and benefits, that's where it all started. This group of guys are always the first to jump in when a fellow rider has had an accident or someone needs help with minor set backs from injury or even worse. Brainstorming around a fire pit the Cannonball Run came to life, with plans to give the money back to the community. The word community means more to these guys because there is so much within a community. Veterans, unfinished projects, projects that need attention, updates to things within the community, in which all of these things do not always mean money, physical labor is included. These guys are willing to do just about anything when it comes to their table, and it they are capable of making it happen.
Their first project out the gate after saving funds for 2 years from their Cannonball Run was the Welcome to Darlington Sign located downtown. This sign took almost a year of planning. The planning stages was very trying but these guys pushed through and accomplished what they brought to the table. The sign now informs our community of local events that are taking place and makes the corner of town look just fantastic! The brick they was able to use is actual Darlington Brick which makes it even more monumental. This sign came to life all because Alan Ferguson always had a dream of refurbishing the Welcome to Darlington Signs outside of town. Well these boys rocked it and got it done for him, in the heart of town. Honoring him, there is a plaque that was placed on the sign with his name and dates. Jim Mahon the president added, "We hope he is up there smiling, patting us on the shoulder saying "Good Job Boys!" , "It feels good to see it finished each time I drive through town, because we decided to put it in when it was about 90 degrees." (as he laughs). "We did that sign as his last task, so he can rest at ease now knowing his job here is done."
The group gathers about 100 plus bikes the Sunday of Darlington Days. They travel about 40-80 miles stopping for a little chance at rolling the dice where at the end whoever has the highest rolling total wins. To raise money they sell t-shirts, have raffle baskets and 50/50. To participate in the it is $10 a person. When the riders meeting takes place, they let you know there is no games to be played because these boys don't play games, unless it's dice! On a normal year they have a Blessing of the Bikes, but this year they will have a blessing of the rider. If you don't have a bike, no worry, they welcome cars, trucks, buggies, bicycles or whatever can get you from stop to stop.
This year they have another project up their sleeve, the Daniel Leasure Monument that they are saving up for. They are hoping to get the brick re-layed, where the bricks will not lift and weeds be a problem. They will also be looking into making sure the monument is safe atop of its base to last many years ahead.
The 5 founding members of the group are, Jim Mahon, John Ott, John Sherrill, Kris Fisher, Tommy Mesing. Involved in the sign project was an added member, Dale Dyke. The 2021 Members consist of the 5 original founding members, with new comers Ron Neff and Jeff Zimny.
Thank you boys, Making Darlington Great Again, one project at a time.