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Riding the roads to fight child abuse

DESLOGE — It was great weather for a motorcycle ride. It was a great morning for fighting child abuse. Members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, decided to do both at the same time.

A parade of bikes, trikes and automobiles rolled off the Desloge Elks Lodge parking lot at 11 a.m. on their way to complete a 100-mile informational tour and ride. By the time the group arrived back in Desloge they had logged more than 100 miles and stopped along the way in several towns to hand out brochures and promote child abuse prevention.

“We’ll visit Desloge, Potosi, Ironton, Fredericktown and Farmington,” local BACA chapter Vice-President “Silverback” said before the start of the run. “We’ll stop for 20 to 30 minutes and hand out flyers in each town.”

Chapter founder and President “Poppy” said the ride would be a mixture of chapter members and non-members, friends and acquaintances. The ride was open to anyone. Participants turned in pledges and a donation for the right to participate in the ride. The donations are used to further BACA’s mission of creating “a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children,” according to the BACA Web site.

From time to time the BACA chapter members visit with formerly abused children to offer assurance that they can feel safe now, and that BACA members are watching out for them. In those instances the event is open only to chapter members — who have completed an FBI background investigation.

This marked the second year for the East Central Missouri chapter’s participation in the annual 100-mile ride for awareness. The local chapter was formed in 2006, and covers the same geographical footprint as the 24th Judicial District of Missouri. The BACA organization was originally started in Utah as a way of helping one abused child. The effort worked so well that another chapter was formed in Utah, then another in Oklahoma. Pretty soon the word of BACA’s mission had spread until chapters began forming across the nation.

BACA will be participating in an upcoming “Blessing of the Bikes” event, and will have displays in Country Days in Farmington the first weekend in June and the Desloge Labor Day picnic in September.

Doug Smith is s reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-756-8927, or at

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