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Luke supporters ride to success

Nearly 300 motorcycles rolled down Main Street Saturday as Ridin’ for Luke, a fundraiser designed to raise support for local firefighter Luke Story, got under way.
The Oct. 18 event, based at Persimmon Ridge Park, was sponsored by Johnson City firefighters, as well as Jonesborough firefighters and public safety officers, as a way to help offset medical expenses incurred by Story, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
According to organizer Maj. Natalie Hilton with Jonesborough Public Safety, the event was a true success.
“We estimated having 3,000 people that came through the whole day,” Hilton said.
“We had just over 300 bikes for both runs.”
The fundraising event featured a motorcycle run to Hot Springs, N.C., as well as a motorcycle poker run. There were also softball tournaments, cornhole tourmaments, music, food and fun.
“There were people spread out everywhere,” Hilton said. “We couldn’t have had a better day.”
Nearly 300 bikers participated in the Hot Springs, N.C., run, and about 50 in the poker run.
“It exceeded expectations,” Hilton said. “Luke and his dad led the bikers in the fire truck. You couldn’t help but tear up — all the signs of support, the American flag. We couldn’t have done this without all the people and businesses that supported us.”
Right now, the event is estimated to have brought in about $20,000. But that, Hilton said, is just the beginning. A Shred-a-Thon will be held at the Jonesborough fire station on Nov. 1 where people can bring any papers to be shredded, and make a $10 donation to Story. Other events will soon follow, she said, and there are still plenty of T-shirts, sweatshirts, poker cards and wristbands for sale supporting Story. Donations can also be made to First Tennessee Bank on Story’s behalf. And plans are in the works for the establishment of a Luke Story Foundation dedicated to supporting people with pancreatic cancer and their families. For more information, contact Hilton at 753-1045.