News from County Executive Mary Ellen Odell’s Office on a bbq grill that will be donated to a Patterson group home on Saturday:
Members of two area motorcycle clubs will donate a much needed outdoor barbeque grill to a Patterson group home at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. Members of the two organizations, Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club from Westchester County and Putnam’s Iron Order Motorcycle Club, will gather at 393 Cornwall Hill Road to present their gift.
Matt Higgins, a retired NYPD detective, is the Road Captain for Iron Order, a nationwide club of motorcycle enthusiasts. Higgins explained that the two clubs are comprised of retired and active duty law enforcement personnel as well as local civilian blue collar workers. He said unfortunately many biker clubs get lumped into a group with some of the more notorious motorcycle clubs and he hoped to dispel that misleading perception.
“We ride for good causes,” said Matt Higgins. “A lot of what we do is charitable stuff. I know people see a group of bikers on the road and think ‘Here come the bad guys’ but that’s not at all who we are. When you see a large group of bikers on the road, they are usually doing a fundraiser type ride.”
To prove his point, Higgins said the turnout of Punishers from Westchester would be on the low side for Saturday’s event because several members were participating in a motorcycle ride in Springfield, MA as part of an event to raise funds for a child diagnosed with cancer.
“I’m pleased Matt Higgins reached out to this office in asking for help to get some good press,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Unfortunately, because they ride on motorcycles, these groups never get the recognition they deserve for their charitable work. There are a lot of good guys on motorcycles both in Putnam and in Westchester who are out there doing a lot of good things.”
Eddie Rodriguez is the president of the Punishers who are registered with the state as an official not-for-profit. He said the idea for presenting a barbeque grill to the group home originated with the wife of a club member whose brother is a resident in the home.
“We found out that they didn’t have a barbeque grill and we got together with the Iron Order Motorcycle Club and talked about it and decided to donate a grill for this home,” he said.
Counteracting bad biker publicity is an on-going pursuit for these clubs. Rodriguez said they don’t often get the chance to publicize the good that they do.
“We really are an eclectic bunch of guys,” he said. “We are law enforcement, veterans, truck drivers, and construction workers and we do a lot of charity work within our communities.”