Bikes, Blues & BBQ raises $173,000 for local charities

Bikes, Blues & BBQ officials are calling the 2015 event one of the most successful years in the rally’s history, and as a result, they handed out a bunch of money to local charities on Monday night.

Rally board members and executive director Joe Giles presented checks totaling $54,000 to 33 local charities at their annual funding ceremony held Monday at George’s Majestic Lounge. Giles also announced that 15 additional organizations raised $119,000 for services rendered during this year’s event.

“It’s extremely gratifying when we can give back to the local community in this way,” Giles said “The four-day event itself gets the lion’s share of publicity because thousands of people are able to participate. But from the perspective of the festival board of directors, nothing is as important as the thousands of dollars we are able to contribute to worthy charities and organizations.”

Area Agency on Aging of NWA and the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club received the largest donations this year, each receiving $5,000. Thirteen organizations received $2,000 grants from the rally, and 18 organizations received $1,000 checks.

The rally raises money each year through event sponsorships, official merchandise sales, vendor fees, and beer sales in event-run beer gardens throughout the rally. After expenses are paid, rally officially typically give away the rest of the profit from the event to local charities.

All together, the rally donated $173,407 to local non-profits and community groups this year, bringing the grand total to over $1.3 million in contributions in its 16-year history.

“I’ve been on the board since the very beginning,” says Fayetteville attorney Kenneth Mourton, “and the top three reasons we started Bikes Blues and BBQ were to help our local economy, give back to local non-profits and help grow local tourism by introducing our region to thousands who’d never visited our state. I think it’s safe to say we’re extremely successful in meeting these goals.”

Bikes, Blues & BBQ took place the weekend of Sept. 23-26, 2015.

The rally is scheduled to return to Fayetteville Sept. 21-24, 2016.