If anyone has been to a parade in this area, they have surely noticed the ECMO Shriners performing their figure-eight skills riding their “skeeter” cycles throughout the parade route.
The skeeters are the mini-bike style cycles of the 60s and 70s which the ECMO Shriners ride in the parades, calling themselves the “Skeeter Patrol.”
Their mission is to “parade so children can walk” and according to ECMO Shriner Ron (Sweet Apple) McCoy; this is the only Shriners club in Missouri with the “Skeeter Patrol”.
Since these cycles are 40 to 50 years old, they are in need of restoration to continue to be used in parades.
McCoy, of Bonne Terre, contacted UniTec Career Center to help with this project. Instructors John Tiemann, Outdoor Power Sports Technology Program, and Jeff White, Collision Repair Technology Program, agreed it would be a great project for their students and the surrounding communities to restore these moto-skeeters for the Shriners.
Students have completed one so far. The club members have 11 more cycles that the two classes will eventually restore and renew. Tiemann’s classes will be getting the motors in ‘like-new’ running condition while White’s classes are painting tanks and frames and polishing the chrome.
The club’s first parade for 2012 will be the Moolah Shrine Circus Parade in historic St. Charles on March 24. There will be six Shriners from the ECMO club who will participate by riding their newly restored moto-skeeters, compliments of UniTec Career Center students and teachers.