A Bikers Voice

A Letter From The President….

Several years ago, I would never guessed that I would be in charge of an organization for fallen riders & their families.  Unfortunately still, bikers are stereo-typed, and that to me is a sad fact.  I have met so many wonderful people through Children Of Fallen Riders & Leathers 4u.   If you think I am joking – check out this video – a commercial that was used for a beer company.

I can say without a doubt in my mind that “bikers” are one of the most generous bunch I have run across – ever!

Many of you that are reading this, will know the story, some may not. COFR was originally “Al’s Ride for life,” and started as an informal run for a friend that went down, and later lost his life.  Than, a year later, another friend, and it deemed the title of “The Magic Carpet Ride. ”   It was run by Tim and Joe those two years, and than was resurrected in 2009,  that’s when I got involved with COFR.

I hate to say it, but the truth is, that bikers are still stigmatized, and I’d like to change that as well.  I came into this equation when COFR was resurrected and also became 1/2 owner of Leathers 4U, and am now a biker by association, and I say that proudly.  There is nothing like it and maybe next spring, I will be riding that trike!

COFR is a small organization, and we have grown over the past few years, and gained our 501 (c)3 status, which means we are a legal corporation and have to uphold what we stand for.  Helping families of fallen riders.

Helping us grow is what our volunteers and supporters do through out the year, but one thing I have learned along the way of this road is sometimes it’s an uphill battle.  Why? and here is what I have run across during research to help get funds, donations,  sponsorships and press coverage.  Why again I ask? because “It’s Biker Related”

A bikers voice started this charity, a bikers voice needs to be heard in unison to make it all that it can be.  While trying to get coverage of our events, not only to assist the charity to grow, because it’s a great cause the events are put together well, and people talk about them for months after.

Why do the papers not call back? Why does the local media not get involved?

Simply put, and sadly said again I find people saying – “it’s biker related” WTH is that all about?

Let’s put our voices together and let’s be heard.

Join us for our Winter Event – We are going to Bluesify the Sundance Saloon in Waukegan on January 21st, 2012.  Spend some time with old friends, and meet some new ones and let’s BE HEARD!

COFR is for the bikers and run by bikers !

Thank you again to all our volunteers!

To the bands that offer up their time!

To all our sponsors!

To Joe  for his calm “voice of reason”

To Tim for his “voice & vision”

To WIIL Rock 95.1 for their continued support!

Now.. my friends & family – Help us BE HEARD!
Children of Fallen Riders-Winter Event
Children of Fallen Riders-Winter Blues – 2

On behalf of Children of Fallen Riders  – Susie Kleiner – President

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5 Responses to A Bikers Voice

  1. Traci Kopernik says:

    Well said Susie ~ well said…….you are truly a wonderful Person, Boss & President & I am honored to have you as a friend & to be a part C.O.F.R. I can tell you that I’ve heard ppl say those exact words, “It’s biker related” & I have thought the same exact thing, “WTH is that?” In my travels of getting the flyers posted for the Winter Event, I’ve come across ppl that WILL NOT hang the flyer in their window & have thought (to myself), that’s it…..I’m not buying gas or cigarettes here anymore & Kourtni said to me, “OK Mom, Bernie’s wouldn’t post one, Murphy wouldn’t post one so now where are we going to get gas?” LOL….I’ll figure that out when the time comes but for now I’d like to thank all of the merchants that gave NO hesitation about posting a flyer or even allowing ME to post it right then & there. Bikers, BIG & small, short & tall MUST be heard!!

  2. Susie Kleiner says:

    Traci – your words are so kind and they mean the world to me!

    What’s up with our local gas stations? We support them each and every day.

    Thanks Traci!

  3. shawna says:

    I am not an avid web visitor. I do not come to this page often enough, but the other day during a meeting I had a little birdie tell me to read Susie’s new blog, so here I am. Susie you absolutely nailed it!!!!!! I am so glad that you were able to put your thoughts in to words and share with everyone.
    I am a HUGE supporter of this organization!!!! When I needed them when my husband was hurt in an accident on his bike and out of work for three months they stepped up and helped with our bills. No one else stepped up to lend a hand, not family members, work, not a lawyer, not our insurance company, not the police, or the judicial system. As I said nobody, but COFR!!!! It is so sad that “bikers” as you and I have no support system outside of another biker.
    My entire life I was raised around and with bikers of all walks of life. I have never met a “biker” that wouldn’t give you a dollar if you needed it or the shirt off of their back (even if you didn’t need it LOL). I love living the “Bikers wife” life!!!! “Bikers” are so generous, friendly, kind, and loving. “Bikers” might be a little brilly and scary looking but that’s when the saying “never judge a book by it’s cover” comes in. If your not a “biker” then do yourself a favor and talk to one, and if you have to then close your eyes and listen “bikers” are no different then the next person. Just people that have been stereo typed!
    I do a lot of volunteer work with pride for this organization!!!! I have to go to companies and call companies for donations or items to donate during our benefits, and let me tell you it is not an easy task to do. The negative response sucks!!!!!! Sometimes people won’t say anything to you but “NO” or “CAN”T”. Really? What is it to donate an item off your shelf worth a couple dollars. It isn’t going to hurt your company, it is a tax write off. The only thing it does is benefit someone out there that is in need!!!!! I also hang flyers at local watering holes and wherever else I can get people to allow me to hang them and am appalled by the corporations and business owners that will not welcome them in their store front windows or on walls. Why? People are so rude and uninviting when it comes to a bearded leather wearing boot stomping man, or a woman dressed in black with a bandana on her head. “Bikers” are people too and sometimes need a little assistance just as one trying to raise money for cancer, md, a sudden death, or so on. I hate the stereo typical world we as “bikers” have to live in, grow up people and get a clue! Try one day to walk in our shoes and see how many people put their nose up to you or turn and walk the other way.
    I am so grateful that COFR has come to our community to lend a hand. Our children and families needed someone that they could call on when help was needed. COFR has grown tremendously for me and my “biker” sisters and brothers and we forever will be thankful!!!! Thank you for not only being there when we were in need but for continuing to be there for us and welcoming my personal family into your personal family!! I couldn‘t be happier to have you guys in it!!!!
    COFR (Tim, Joe, and Susie), volunteers, donators, and supporters for the cause are who make this charity possible and I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Jenn says:

    I have said it before, I will say it again…….what you do is GREAT. I lost my Dad to a driver who needed gas more than she needed to pay attention to the road. She killed him. I was only 4 at the time. All my life I have asked questions about him. I didnt even know his real name! Not one person in my family wanted to tell me anything about him other than he was a “biker” and “you know how they are”. NO!!!! I DIDNT KNOW “HOW THEY ARE”!!!!!! I do now. Three years ago at the age of 30 my life took plenty of twists and turns. One that I was unsure about hearing after hearing all this negative stuff about bikers as I grew up. God brought me to a set of circumsatnces that allowed me to get closer to finding out who my Dad really was. Through luck, bravery, God and my ability to be a stubborn Irish woman, I finally met my Dad’s biker friends. As it turnes out, this Summer is the 30th year they have made a 400 mile, all weekend run, in his name. I have gone two years now. I love my Dad’s club. They are more family to add to my tree. They still love my Dad all these years later. They love me, call me family and have promised to help fill me in about my Dad. Everytime I am with these guys my face hurts form the sheer size of my smile. We visit his grave, they cry with me. I am very lucky to have my biker family. I asked my teen boy what he thought of bikers before he met these men. He did admit to going along with the idea that anything “biker related” must be bad. But he is very happy to have had the opportunity to spend time with them and see just how great they are. I am truly thankful for what you do here. Maybe there is some four year old little girl who lost her Dad. Maybe her and her Mom struggle to keep things going. Maybe you guys have offered a helping hand. Maybe she wont grow up thinking her Dad died and nobody cared. You guys prove to so many that someone does care. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU DO. If I ever find myself in a financial position to help you, I will. Jenn

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