Despite Wet Weather, Bikers Rally for Whitney Whelchel - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Despite Wet Weather, Bikers Rally for Whitney Whelchel

March 31, 2007 - Posted at 5:27 p.m. CDT PARAGOULD, AR -- A little rain Saturday didn't prevent bikers from keeping their promise to help a Region 8 teenager.  Despite the wet weather, more than 100 bikers rode for Whitney Whelchel Saturday morning...coming as far as Helena to help raise money for the Greene County Tech student injured in an October 2006 car accident.

"It warms your heart. it just shows you that there are still good people out there.  Good Christian people and that people still care and the world is not as bad as what everybody portrays it to be," said Whitney's mom Jackie Whelchel.

Bikers rolled through a wet Region 8 Saturday morning...wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

"Anytime you've got a child or a young adult in trouble, call the bikers," said rider Lanz Loyd, "The hearts are just enormous on the bikers."

"There's no set amount to ride the ride, it's just donations only and whatever we get, that's what we get," said Tony Ruhl, president of the Christian Motorcycle Association.

Whitney's parents Jackie & Tim have been riding motorcycles for the last four years.  They certainly understand the strength of numbers.

"Words cannot express, we ride bikes also so we know the bond that bikers have and it is just a blessing because it's a very dangerous situation today with it raining and them being able to put that aside to be able to come and do something like this for our family," said Whelchel.

Whitney is only five months into an estimated two year recovery.  Her last surgery left her with 24 screws placed in her skull...but she and her family are taking her recovery one step at a time.

"Everyday she is doing a little better.  She does things that she was doing and things that she hasn't been doing," said Whelchel.

"God's done real work with Whitney.  she's got a real battle going on right now trying to recover and we know recovery is coming, the miracle has already been worked, we're just trying to help now with some of the financial end and try to help out with that part of it," said Loyd.

"It's so great to be a part of a loving, caring Christian community," said Whelchel as she and her family waved to bikers passing by.

Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston led the rally for Whitney.  The route started at the Bonanza, went by the Whelchel house on Highway 358 and ended at the Wal-Mart in Paragould. 

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