Bikers ride for Beacon House benefit

MARQUETTE – A group of roughly 50 bikers hit the streets Saturday in the Beacon House’s second annual “Roar the Shore” fundraising event.

Beacon House CEO Mary Dowling said the goal was to raise $5,000, and with at least 20 more bikers than participating in the event, the day started off well on its way to reaching that mark.

“This is very special to us because this particular group of people, motorcyclers, are generally very, very generous people and this group that’s turned out, it’s everyone from last year that I can see so far, plus they brought some new friends,” Dowling said Saturday morning. “And that means we’ve got some new friends to the Beacon House, and the more people are aware of who we are and what we do, the more support we get, the longer we know we’ll be in existence – and that means the world to us.”

The Beacon House, of Marquette, is a non-profit organization that provides lodging to patients receiving medical care and for their loved ones. More than 100,000 guest nights have been provided since Beacon House opened in June 2002, according to the organization’s website,

Saturday’s event began in L’Attitude with a hot breakfast at 9 a.m. The bikers – many from the Harley-Davidson Superior Chapter – began their ride at 10 a.m., motoring east down Washington Street to start the ride off, with some sporting American flags attached to the backs of their bikes.

From there, the group of riders headed to the Bald Eagle Harley-Davidson dealership in Marquette Township, then to Christmas with a stop at the Kewadin Casino, then to H-13 in Munising, on to Escanaba with stops at Riverside Chrysler Dealership and Hereford & Hops and then to The Throttle in Little Lake before reaching the ride’s end at the Up North Lodge in Gwinn.

The event included a rib dinner and a silent auction inside the Up North Lodge, with entertainment provided by the Flat Broke Blues Band.

Dowling said the Beacon House is still counting the proceeds, but feels confident they hit their $5,000 goal and is certain they surpassed last year’s proceeds.

“My face still hurts from smiling, because when the riders came back and met us at the Up North Lodge, they came in so excited,” Dowling said this morning. “They loved the route, they loved the whole experience … and it made me feel happy that we did something unique or special for them.”

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.