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‘Our bottom line is kids': Rebel Road returns to raise money to help end child abuse

Rebel Road Motorcycle Rally expected to raise over $60,000 for the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County
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Posted at 7:37 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 11:15:04-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Dozens of vendors — from a BBQ restaurant, to a popcorn shop, to a t-shirt store — lined Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon for the 7th annual Rebel Road Motorcycle Rally.

Lead organizer Kyleen Gee said 60,000 people are expected to attend between Thursday and Sunday.

“Today’s Day 2 of our five-day motorcycle rally, the biggest in Michigan called Rebel Road,” Gee said during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday afternoon. “So, we have tons of food vendors, merchandise vendors, free concerts, kids activities, stunt shows, all of it, you name it. We’ve got an axe-throwing competition and of course thousands upon thousands of motorcycles.”

Gee, who’s the executive director of the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County, said at least 60,000 motorcycles are expected to roar through the event over the next few days.

And, with all the sunshine and good weather coming, they’re hoping for more, she said.

“The Child Abuse Council puts on this event, and every single proceed that is made goes back into serving the 21,000 kids we serve every year in Muskegon County,” Gee said. “This event is put on by a team of eight volunteers. So, it’s a lot of work. But they very much care about the mission and the work we do here in the county. So, it’s very important.”

Gee said Rebel Road is their largest fundraiser for the Child Abuse Council. Her wish would be to raise $100,000. But, no matter what amount is raised she’s grateful for it she said, and it’ll go to all the services that the CAC provides, from prevention programs to counseling.

“Our agency provides specialized forensic interviews and medical examines for kids who are alleged to have been sexually abused. We do over 500 of those a year,” Gee said. “What people need to understand though is you know they come to us in a very traumatic time in their lives. With this intervention and the services that we provide, due to events like this, supporting it, there so much hope in these families. These kids are resilient. They go on to be happy and healthy and thriving.”

Friends Dartanya Hayes and Derric Sargent walked around and enjoyed Rebel Road on Thursday afternoon. They liked that the proceeds were going to a good cause.

“It’s very good to raise money for a charity and especially for that charity. So, it’s very good,” Hayes said. “It’s very needed here in Muskegon. I’m from Muskegon Heights and he’s from Muskegon. So, it’s very needed in all areas of Muskegon.”

Rebel Road had a soft launch on Wednesday night. However, Thursday at 6 p.m. it officially opened. But by midday, hundreds of people were already out and enjoying it.

Both Hayes and Sargent recommended that everyone attend.

“I like the diversity, especially what’s going on in the world today, I like seeing this right here,” Sargent said. “It’s good. It’s good for the community. It’s good for Muskegon.”

Gee said many in the community, from the residents to businesses to the City of Muskegon, shared the same sentiment.

She too hopes many will come out and enjoy the event.

“At the end of the day, we’re not working towards a bottom line dollar,” Gee said. “Our bottom line is kids and families, and making sure that they can be safe and healthy and thrive. And, nothing makes me happier and more honored to do that job.”