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PHOTOS: Second annual Ride to Recovery brings hope to those in need
Motorcyclists leave the second annual Ride to Recovery, an event hosted by the Pathfinders Family to raise money for those affected by alcohol and drug addiction. - photo by Jacob Smith

The Pathfinders Family, a Christian-based non-profit in Cumming, hosted their second annual ‘Ride to Recovery’ event at the Dawson County Farmers Market Pavillion on Sunday, Aug. 1. 

The event featured over 100 motorcyclists from the North Georgia area riding to Dawson County to celebrate people who had overcome or going through rehabilitation for alcohol or drug addictions, raising $7,000 for the effort. 

“We’re all just a bunch of ex-knuckleheads who got our life straight trying to give back to the communities we sort of stole from,” Pathfinders organizer Joe Mele said. 

Ice cream trucks and an inflatable water slide kept the summer event going while Pathfinders volunteers served the patrons barbecue sandwich meals, smoked at the Pavillion. Live music was played between testimonials of how individuals overcame their specific addiction.

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Pathfinders will donate to the Connections in Forsyth, an organization for those seeking long-term recovery. Along with using proceeds to sponsor individuals entering rehab, a trust fund was created for two young girls whose mother died due to complications with heroin. 

“At the end of the day, we want to help people get into rehab facilities,” Mele said. “A lot of us are ex-addicts who can put ourselves in the shoes of the people we help because we walked in those shoes for a long time.” 

At the end of the event, all the bikers threw their kickstands up and rode out of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame parking lot in unison. Mele said the event only grew in success from last year and that they hope they can continue to help out their hometown communities. 

To get involved or donate with Pathfinders, find them on Facebook by searching Pathfinders Cumming.