The Wills Town Rats will host a benefit motorcycle ride for The SAM Foundation Saturday, June 26.
Registration for the benefit ride starts at 9 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion on Fifth Street N. with kickstands up at 10:00 a.m. The registration fee is $20 a bike, with no charge for the passenger and donations are welcome.
This year’s benefit ride proceeds will go to the non-profit, The SAM Foundation.
There will be food, raffles, and entertainment from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Entertainment for the benefit ride will include the ‘Karl Childers Band.’
Randy Bynum, member of the Wills Town Rats, said the band plays a “little rock and roll and a little bluegrass, as well.”
“This is a really great group of professional guys who love to play music,” said Bynum. “We have had them in the past, and they’re a really good high-energy band.”
Bynum said this is their first sponsored ride of the year, and the group has been hosting the benefit rides for approximately six years now.
“We’re just a group of friends who like to ride, and every year we pick a couple of charities to benefit from us riding,” said Bynum.
Bynum said they chose The SAM Foundation last year because of their work to educate people on the signs of suicide.
“When I was in law enforcement, The SAM Foundation trained us. They’ve been out to the schools, everywhere up under the sun just trying to get the word out,” he said. “I just think they do an awesome job.”
The SAM Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization for suicide prevention and awareness with the purpose of providing life-saving training for suicide prevention. The program efforts reach Limestone, Madison, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan, Marshall and DeKalb Counties, and Fulton County, Georgia.
The organization was named after and memorializes Samuel Prewett Johnson, who tragically lost his life to suicide in 2002. Now, his two sisters, along with staff and volunteers, work to provide training, public awareness and education to communities about the suicide epidemic.
Nicole Goggans, the Alabama program coordinator for The SAM Foundation, said they offer educational training at no cost to anyone in suicide prevention.
She said the 90-minute online or in-person courses are called QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.
“We offer more specialized suicide prevention trainings as well,” said Goggans. “We also support friends and loved ones of suicide survivors with a support group once a month.”
Goggans said anyone interested in The SAM Foundation and their mission could go to their website www.samfound.org to learn more.