Kickstands up, Hillbilly Christmas in July wraps up another year

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The 14th annual Hillbilly Christmas in July began Saturday and continued into Sunday morning.

Around 100 motorcycle riders put their kickstands up for the "Randy Jones Memorial Ride."

Hillbilly Christmas in July began 14-years-ago by Jimmy Kinney and his best friend Randy Jones.

Randy died several years ago.

"If you're going to get behind a charity that takes care a lot of our kids, this is the one you want to be with," said organization Chairman Jimmy Kinney.

The non-profit raises money for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington.

"I'm really tickled to death to say that our little organization, in 13 years, has taken $587,000 to the hospital," explained Kinney.

There is a $20 registration fee. With that, you receive a badge with a child's name from Pike County who is currently receiving treatment from the hospital.

"A lot of our guys, they picked up 5 badges," Kinney pointed out.

There are around 383 active Pike County patients.

"If you take Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, and Letcher (counties), we're over 1,100 patients," said Kinney.

This year, the ride started at Mineshaft Harley-Davidson in Pikeville.

"We'll be going to Elkhorn City, over to Phelps, back to 119, (then) back to Pikeville. When we get back here, we'll do a drawing on a motorcycle," Kenny explained.

The motorcycle is a new Harley-Davidson low-rider.

You did not need to be present to win. Organizers will call the winner to make arrangments for you to pick up your new bike.

"You make one trip, then you're hooked. Then, you'll be out here like the rest of us. You'll be old and gray and out here trying to make money," laughed Kinney.

Last year was the first year the ride did not end in Lexington. Relocation of the hospital changed their usual route.

"But I'm hoping that just the awareness of what we're doing, that maybe a family will look around and say, "my child needs help," said Kinney.

Kinney told WYMT, you do not need to have a referral from a doctor. All you have to do is give the hospital a call.

"I think this area, all the help from the people here, made a big difference," Kinney pointed out.

Last year, Kenny said the organization raised more than $50,000. Now, he hopes this year to exceed that number.

We will update this article when we learn the final total.

Once the money is counted, a check will be presented to the hospital on Friday, July 26th.

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