Approximately 100 riders gathered Saturday to raise money for students at the 3rd Annual Mt. San Jacinto College Scholarship Motorcycle Run.
According to the Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation, the event is expected to have raised $3,000.
The route originated at Mt. San Jacinto College, and took riders on a scenic, 114-mile route through Idyllwild, Anza and Aguanga to MSJC’s Menifee Valley Campus.
Here, riders and additional guests enjoyed a barbecue tri-tip lunch, prize giveaways and a silent auction. Items for auction included a HP printer, leather riding gloves, and a gift basket of beef jerky.
“This event is really about camaraderie,” said Dr. Bill Vincent, vice president of student services at MSJC who led the ride. “I think what we’ve all learned in these hard times is that no one can do anything alone.”
According to Karin Marriott, director of marketing at MSJC Foundation, the state has cut the college’s budget by $9 million since 2008. As a result of the funding cuts, more than 800 students will be unable to get classes at MSJC this year.
“The MSJC Foundation’s events, including the motorcycle run, are a great way to expose the community to the college, its programs and how it serves students,” said Marriott in an email. “The focus of the event is our students. We are committed to supporting them so they can achieve their educational goals.”
The event was open to the public and attracted a variety of participants.
“I’ve never done a big, organized ride like this,“ said Dave Barr, a retiree from Murrieta who decided to participate after seeing an ad in a newspaper. “It’s really fun. I’ll be back next year.”
“We’ve seen a lot of the same people come back,” said Pat Alcox, 65, a longtime motorcyclist and supporter of MSJC. “I miss seeing all my old compadres. This is all about companionship.”
Money raised from the event will go to MSJC Financial Aid Office and will be divided into several scholarships. In previous years, about five students have received aid because of this event, according to MSJC Foundation.
“I feel thrilled. This year there are more riders, more bikes, more vendors and more prizes donated from our sponsors,” said Fred Frontino, who coordinated the event. “We’re going to make a lot of money for student scholarships, and that’s what it’s all about — helping the students.”
Amy Donnelly is a photojournalist and new contributor to SWRNN.