The Home Depot – Motorcycle club raises money for Maureen’s Hope – Eagle News Online
(BA)LDWINSVILLE — Cliff McKeen — better known by his road name, “Clutch” — and his band of bikers are looking to leave the public’s impressions of motorcycle clubs in the dust by giving back to the community.
Earlier this month, Clutch and the Three Rivers chapter of the Hades Hounds Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club held a charity ride to raise money for Maureen’s Hope Foundation. The bikers circled up at JP’s Tavern in Baldwinsville on June 12, raising about $1,400 for the B’ville-based cancer charity.
“This is our chapter’s very first [charity] ride that we’ve done and it came out phenomenal,” Clutch said.
Hades Hounds Three Rivers is hoping the June 12 ride will be the first of many charity rides to come.
“We want to branch out and create a good backing for the B’ville-Liverpool-Cicero area,” Clutch said.
Clutch, a veteran who grew up in Baldwinsville and now lives in Liverpool, was researching different charities the club could support when he came across Maureen’s Hope. He was enamored with the organization’s Beads of Courage program, which provides pediatric cancer patients with personalized strings of beads to mark milestones in their treatment journey.
“I fell in love with the idea that the kid gets something out of it, even if it’s just a little bead,” Clutch said.
Hades Hounds Three Rivers set out to collect donations from local businesses. In addition to hosting the event, JP’s Tavern donated $100 to Maureen’s Hope, and The Home Depot donated a grill for the bikers to raffle off.
“Then we do what we do best: ride our motorcycles,” Clutch said.
Clutch began riding motorcycles at age 16. He’s now 44.
“Just being on two wheels, it’s the closest I can get to total freedom. All my cares go away — it’s just very enjoyable,” he said.
Clutch said people often assume bikers — burly, tattooed and decked out in leather — are troublemakers who like to cause fights. That couldn’t be further from the truth for the membership of Hades Hounds LEMC.
“A lot of our guys are cops, firefighters, veterans,” Clutch said. “We just like to ride a lot and have some fun, and we’re very polite.”
The Three Rivers chapter began about a year and a half ago.
“COVID put a big damper on us trying to do something that first year,” Clutch said. “Right now, we’re basically getting ready to look at other charities to do other rides for next year.”
While the club is planning to make its charity ride an annual event, Hades Hounds Three Rivers is eager to participate in other local charity rides. The club will take part in Ride for the Ribbons on July 24 starting at Sharkey’s Bar and Grill in Liverpool. The event benefits the Ronald McDonald House.
“The more people involved, the more money we make,” Clutch said.”
For more information about Ride for the Ribbons, visit sharkeysbarandgrill.com.