By: Wally Wersching
On Saturday, February 11th, the “Warriors For Christ” chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) held their annual “Run For The Son” breakfast fundraiser at the Carolina Chicken & More in Gaffney, South Carolina between 7AM and 10:30AM.
“Warriors for Christ” is one of the newest chapters of the CMA. The members have been working very hard to become a sanctioned part of the CMA. I’ve known Roger, the president, and his wife, Carolyn, for many years. I consider them good friends.
While I was there, we talked about the CMA, and what happens to the money collected. After the bill is paid for all the food cooked, 60% of the money raised goes to the CMA for distribution to their many worthwhile causes, and the rest stays with the local chapter. This fundraiser is the only one each year where some of the money stays with the local chapter. All other fundraising events during the year are for charities – not the local chapter.
The CMA was started in 1975 by one man. It now has thousands of members with outreaches in more than thirty countries around the world. If you have not been to a CMA event, it’s a lot of fun. Meeting new people, and making new friends is what it’s all about. Go to: www.cmausa.org to learn more about the CMA, and any local events.
After I finished eating, I walked outside to talk with Roger. It appeared that the fundraiser would be successful with more and more people coming in. Some of the bikers were going to another event in Shelby later in the morning. I learned that it was a memorial run for Markie Boris – a young man who had just died. I planned on attending, too, even though I didn’t know him.
I headed up Rt 18 to Shelby, and the Landmark Baptist Church – the meeting place for Markie’s memorial run. I was told that it would be leaving the church at noon so I arrived at about 11:15. I was the only one there so I parked, and waited.
At about 11:30, two Gaston County Sheriff motorcycle cops rode in. We talked for a while as we all waited for the rest to arrive.
When Markie Boris was born, doctors told his parents, Mark and Maggie Boris, he wouldn’t live past two years old. His heart had six defects, and was in the middle of his chest instead of on the left. Markie lived to become a student at Crest Middle School, and his father was a detective with the Shelby Police Department. Markie had more than 20 heart surgeries. Some of the latest were at the Boston Children’s Hospital. His parents moved to Boston to be closer to the heart specialists. Markie’s favorite saying was “Don’t Worry, I’ve Got This”. He was a remarkable young man who loved motorcycles, and the people who rode them. He lived to be 16 years old before he lost his fight for life.
Other bikers began to arrive. Some I knew, and others I didn’t - but quickly became acquainted. There were members of many local biker ministries along with a few of the local clubs. It was a normal outpouring of love by the biker community for a young man. Many of the people were wearing t-shirts that they got at some of the fundraisers for Markie’s many operations. They were bright red, and had “Don’t Worry, I’ve Got This” printed on the back.
Markie’s parents drove in along with his grandparents. There was a lot of emotion as they were greeted by the bikers who knew them. The father brought Markie’s ashes so that he could be part of the event, too.
The parking lot was filling fast as 1:00PM approached – the time that was scheduled for the service. The last group to arrive was the Windjammers, from Shelby. There were about 50 bikers, and a half a dozen cop cars and bikes. After all, Mark (Markie’s dad) had been a Shelby policeman.
Preacher gathered everyone around, and said a prayer before leaving. The plan was to ride about a mile to the Putnam Baptist Church to have a memorial service for Markie, and then have a free meal.
One of the bikers loaned Mark his bike so that he could ride in the run. Mark and Markie’s younger brother led the ride behind the two motorcycle cops, then the rest of the bikes and cars. It was a pretty long line of roaring motorcycles as they left.
After I watched them leave, I headed home. Cindy was back from shopping so we went out for a delicious lunch in Boiling Springs, NC. It was an eventful day.