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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Motorcycle club gives back to community

Motorcycle club gives back to community

The Circuit Riders Motorcycle Ministries is giving back to the community once again.

This Saturday, February 21, the Circuit Riders are hosting their fourth annual Community Outreach at the Cut Off Youth Center, 205 W. 79th St.

The Community Outreach will be a day for families to get together and celebrate with the riders. The festivities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and club members will serve free hot dogs, nachos, drinks and desserts.

Free games and prizes for children including volleyball and horseshoes will also take place. There will be live praise and worship music and members of the Circuit Riders will be happy to pray with anyone in need of prayer.

Anyone and everyone is welcomed to come and join the fun, totally free event.

The idea to host the Annual Community Outreach came from Mark Culpepper, the Chapter President of the Bayou Riders. It is the group’s way of saying thanks to the community that has helped them in fundraising for various programs.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community for supporting our ministry,” said Culpepper.

Some of the support the Riders receive comes from local individuals during their twice a year can shake where their members can be seen receiving donations from people near bridge intersections. Other support comes from local businesses like Franks Supermarket and Grand Isle Shipyard.

“That’s how we raise our money to do our toy drives and Christmas programs with the nursing homes. Each year, we also pick several families from local housing units to deliver a meal and toys for Christmas. We couldn’t do that without the community’s support,” said Culpepper.

For their toy drive the riders go house to house and ask the kids what they want for Christmas and use the proceeds from the can shakes to buy the children exactly what they requested. They also provide support throughout the year for anyone who is in need of support or prayer.

The Circuit Riders accept members from any church and denomination.

“Our mission is basically to show the love of Jesus Christ up and down this bayou. As long as it’s to serve the Lord we’ll do anything,” said Culpepper.

Galliano residents Edward “Doc” Louviere and his wife Patricia first founded the Circuit Riders Motorcycle Ministries in 1983 and started the Bayou Riders around 1994. Louviere began as a hardcore biker before he became a born again Christian and combined his love of God and his love of motorcycles to create the Riders.

“I guess you could say I was a prodigal son,” said Louviere.

Louviere wanted to do more. He wanted to take Christ into areas that he knew that others could not. Early on he began converting and recruiting people from the lifestyle he once knew and turned their lives around.

“It was at first a bunch of ex-hell raisers from barrooms, ex-cons, ex-dope addicts. We were going to the gangs and sharing what God intended for us and seeing lives change. We made a promise to the Lord that we would never ride again unless we ride for Him,” said Louviere.

Today the Circuit Riders Motorcycle Ministries is more than 600 members strong and contains chapters in multiple states throughout the nation. There is also an international side to the ministries that does mission work throughout various countries in Central America and in many secluded jungle villages in the Amazon.

The public is invited to join the Riders on Saturday, February 21 in what promises to be a fun-filled faith-based day.