Shepherd's House Holds Fundraiser at Quaker Steak and Lube

Published 06/16 2014 02:02PM

Updated 06/16 2014 02:28PM

The Shepherd's House invited the community to come together for a fundraiser benefiting homeless veterans in the community.  Organizers say the money will be used to help pay for a construction project this summer that will expand the Shepherd House kitchen.

The Freedom Rider's second annual Shepherd's House Ride took play with more than 100 bikers in attendance.  The event raises money for the Shepherd's House a local transitional housing center for male veterans dealing with addiction.

The ride, led by several Allen County deputies, started at Quaker Steak & Lube in Fort Wayne and the pack rode to Ligonier, through Kendalville, and back.

"It was very good, a little breezy but the scenery, the ride was totally awesome."

Ryan Moser is a Freedom Rider with Chapter 7 out of Bluffton, Indiana.

"We wanted to come up and support Chapter 1 with their event and it's turned out to be a really good deal."

In addition to the 2 hour, 90 mile ride, the fundraiser included a silent auction, live music, and a visit from Colts cheerleaders.

Quaker Steak & Lube donated 20% of their food sales from 12pm-6pm towards the fundraiser.

"Today's event helped the Shepherd's House meet a goal that they've been reaching towards for 15 years. For 15 years, we have not had a handicap accessible kitchen so we've been begging the community for over a year now for funding and I believe this ride will give us the last 10% needed for construction so we're really excited."

Barb Cox and her husband Lonnie founded the Shepherd's House 15 years ago.  She is grateful for the help stemming from the community that has helped their organization grow.

"Tremendously.  An answered prayer.  We started out, literally us thinking we would house a couple homeless people.  Now we're to 50 veterans that we're serving and it's a ministry that's just taken off."

Charity rides like this help veterans like William Fryar.  Fryar served in the Navy on the Westpac Tour.  He has been at the Shepherd's House for 3 months and says the experience has changed his life.

"It gave me a new outlook on life and second chance.  A chance to get my life back together and do the right thing."

Gary Perkey was at last year's charity ride and couldn't miss the second annual event.

"It's a great cause.  Shepherd's House and Freedom Riders are a bunch of good guys and it's veteran based so we thought we'd come out and support them."

Perkey served in the United States Marine Corps from 77-81.

"It was awesome.  I was a young man at the time, 17 years old.  It's really changed my life.  If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  Best thing I ever did in my life."

The experiences he had in the Marines makes Perkey proud to be an American and serve his fellow veterans.

"It teaches you discipline, makes you realize how lucky you are to be an American when you serve overseas and come back home.  It's just awesome to see what it does for us as individuals and I'm just proud to be an American."

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.