- By Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
About 500 bikers packed into the area around Wellington’s Village Hall on Saturday morning before heading out on an 85-mile ride to raise money for Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.
The eighth annual Cruizin’ for Crime Stoppers motorcycle ride took participants on a route up Forest Hill Boulevard to Southern Boulevard, out to the Pahokee Marina for a quick break, and then back east and north to Abacoa in Jupiter.
Two groups are pivotal to the ride, said Crime Stoppers board of directors president Anthony Genovese: The Nam Knights Motorcycle Club, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office motor unit. The PBSO motor unit provides a rolling motorcade for Crime Stoppers, blocking side roads so motorcyclists can continue uninterrupted.
“Without the Nam Knights and PBSO motor unit, this ride would never happen,” Genovese said. This is the major fundraiser for the rewards Crime Stoppers offers to anonymous tipsters who provide information that leads to arrests, he added.
Paul Goldberg has been with the Nam Knights for 25 years, and transferred to Palm Beach County from the group’s parent chapter in New Jersey. This was his first year volunteering for Cruizin’ for Crime Stoppers.
“I think it’s great. It lets the public know that not all riders are ‘wise guys’,” he said, laughing. The group is comprised of mostly veterans and current and former law enforcement officers. “We do a lot in the community. This helps get the word out,” he added.
Dray Garner of West Palm Beach joined the ride for his third time. On his Kawasaki Vulcan 900, he said the best part of the ride is “the non-stopping, and the police escort.”
This was Steve Manley’s eighth time taking part in Cruizin’ for Crime Stoppers. The Delray Beach resident said he enjoys supporting an organization that does so much for the community.
“I think with Crime Stoppers’ help, they (law enforcement) get a lot further than regular uniformed cops would get without it,” Manley said.
This was the third year Nina Bysiewicz of Delray Beach participated in the ride. “I love supporting this,” she said. “Both of my brothers are police officers in Pennsylvania.”
She said she loves seeing people stand along the route and wave to the bikers. “People stand on top of their cars, waving to us from the exit ramps,” she added.
Adam Shirley brought his 2-year-old son, Hayden, over from Scott’s Place Playground next to Village Hall to watch the motorcycles roll out. Hayden looked on in awe as first the PBSO motor unit left, then the long line of bikers made their way to Forest Hill Boulevard.
“Do you like motorcycles, buddy?” Shirley asked.
“Yes,” Hayden said, his eyes wide as the rumbling vehicles passed by two-by-two.