Motorcycle rally benefits child abuse prevention and education


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) – Thousands of motorcycles will fill downtown Muskegon starting Wednesday for the annual Rebel Road Motorcycle Rally to benefit the Muskegon County Child Abuse Council.

The event, which runs from July 13 to July 17, is organized by a small team of volunteers and is the agency’s largest fundraiser.

“The mission of the Child Abuse Council is to prevent and address child abuse and neglect through education, child advocacy and community collaboration. So basically this means that any child who has been victimized of physical or sexual abuse can receive our services here at this agency. It’s all free,” said Kyleen Gee, executive director of the council.

Rebel Road 2022 will provide entertainment for all ages including free concerts, motorcycle stunt shows, live pro wrestling, ax throwing, a free kids fun zone, camping, dozens of vendors, thousands of bikes, and more.

Gee explained that fundraising accounts for about 33% of the agency’s annual operating budget. Rebel Road is one of the top 10 events held each year, but brings in around 80% of the money generated from fundraising events.

“Every penny collected after expenses goes back to this agency, and all of our services are free to the children and families we serve, so it’s a direct impact,” Gee said. “So if you come downtown and go to one of our concerts, or buy an adult drink from one of our beer tents, or buy from one of our sellers, you directly help the mission of our agency.

The council offers a variety of important services, including on-site forensic interviews, specialist medical examinations, counseling and court preparation. They also have a prevention program that works with all schools in Muskegon County, teaching children about personal safety and the court-appointed special advocate program. CASA trains citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children in the justice system. The agency serves more than 20,000 children in Muskegon County each year.

Child abuse and neglect in general, especially child sexual abuse, is something that a lot of people don’t want to imagine, don’t want to talk about, but we here at the agency can tell you to say it happens every day in every community… it knows no boundaries,” Gee said.

She added that although it is a difficult subject, there is hope.

“When these families benefit from this intervention through services like the ones we provide here, they can begin to heal and they can begin to have healthy, safe, normal and productive lives.”

For more information on the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County, visit Details on Rebel Road, including the full schedule of events, can be found online.

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