Bryon Farmer wanted to change some people’s perception of motorcycle clubs and what it means to be in one. The president and co-founder of the Bellator Titans MC imagined a brotherhood of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts focused on giving back while having fun.
That’s exactly what they do. They’ve become known as fierce champions for children’s causes, raising money to support local kids through Sanford Children’s Miracle Network.
“I just always thought there was a misconception about what we’re all about,” Farmer said. “In truth, everything we’re geared toward is making a positive impact in our community.”
The club started an event unlike anything that existed in the region, Rally & Ride for a Cure, in 2011, and it has since grown into a two-day rally with a 100-mile poker run, family-friendly festival and a chance for the community to come meet the motorcyclists.
Best of all, the event’s proceeds support childhood cancer research and Camp Bring It On!, a special camp for kids with cancer.
“Children are the future of our world, so we thought why not start there,” Farmer said. “If it helps somebody have a better life experience, then that’s worth it to us.”
Pediatric cancer patients and survivors can attend Camp Bring It On! at no cost to their families. The annual camp is held at Joy Ranch in Watertown, South Dakota, an 1880s-style prairie town with “old West” facades, and made possible thanks to donors like the Bellator Titans.
The camp is staffed with pediatric oncologists, nurses and child life specialists from Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, making sure any medical needs are met while at camp. The kids get to enjoy a typical camp experience including fishing, swimming and tubing, singing and making s’mores around the campfire.
Inspired by boy
Farmer was inspired to support Camp Bring It On! after hearing the story of a brave cancer fighter named Ethan from Farmer’s hometown of Crooks, South Dakota.
Ethan attended the first camp and said he went home feeling like he could do anything. He made a lasting impression on staff and his fellow campers and gave the camp its name. At just 8 years old, Ethan lost his battle to acute myeloid leukemia.
“Ethan fought the good fight, and I saw what his passing did to his family,” Farmer said. “That really touched me, and I thought, ‘Here’s a cause where we could truly make a difference and help.’”
Rally & Ride for a Cure has now raised more than $100,000, bringing in $50,000 last year alone.
“Without the community embracing this event, we couldn’t do what we’re doing,” Farmer said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without all the sponsors and people who help us out. It’s great to see all these different groups of people come together for the one purpose of helping children.”
Meet the kids
The Bellator Titans MC have seen their impact firsthand, delivering a giant check with the event proceeds each year during Camp Bring It On! The kids love meeting the members and are thrilled to sit on their bikes and take pictures to share with their families.
“The camp is really geared toward children and allowing them to experience something other than the pain and worries of their diagnosis,” Farmer said. “The kids help motivate us to keep doing this, because when you go to that camp, you don’t see kids with cancer. You see kids making friends and having fun. They have such a good time. Seeing that just drives us even harder.”
Each year, the Bellator Titans MC and their team of family and friends work harder to make an even bigger impact. Farmer hopes one day the event will be able to completely fund the week-long camp.
Rally & Ride for a Cure Details
- What: Event for kids and families to have fun and raise money to pediatric cancer patients and survivors attend Camp Bring It On!
- When: May 19-20
- Where: Crooks, South Dakota
- Saturday activities: The weekend festivities start with a 100-mile poker run at Vern Eide Motoplex/Indian Motorcycle Sioux Falls at 10 a.m. on May 19. After the run, the community is invited to join the participants at the Critters Lounge, on Main St., for prizes and raffles and end-of-run fun.
- Sunday activities: On May 20, Main Street in Crooks will be transformed into a rally atmosphere with a vendor showcase, car and bike show, carnival games, kids’ zone with face painting and crafts, and much more. The highlight of the evening will be announcing this year’s raffle winner, who will get to choose between a 2018 Northstar Ranger XP1000, 2018 RZR Turbo and a 2018 Indian Chieftain.
- For more information about the event, visit the Rally & Ride for a Cure Facebook page.