The family of J.J. Helme III recently held the second annual memorial motorcycle ride for their late son. Helme, 22, died in a motorcycle accident on June 16, 2011, when a vehicle failed to yield the right of way to Helme. He was riding his motorcycle on his way home from work when he was killed.
His death set off a long-term effort by his family and friends to make sure he isn’t forgotten.
The family has become involved in several charity events in their son’s name including the bike ride. Gigi Helme, J.J. Helme’s mother says this year the ride which raised $646 began at Team Powersports in Garner and finished at Team Powersports in Smithfield. The family plans to donate the money to Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center.
Helme’s parents John and Gigi Helme, his sister Katie Bwryn Helme, his uncle Scott Spare and his cousin Connie Gardner rode in his memory. The family had lots of support from other riders including friends, some of their son’s co-workers, and the Faith Riders from Good Hope Baptist in Cary.
“Every year his family is going to honor his memory and hold a memorial ride for charity. J.J. loved children, so his family decided that would be the best way to honor him,” Gigi Helme said.
Along with memorial ride, the family has donated books to the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library in Clayton. They also donated picnic tables to the Town of Newport.
Local businesses donated items for raffle and giveaways. Among those were Ray Price Harley Davidson; Cycle Gear; Kickback Jacks; Characters Quarters; Starbucks; Buffalo Wild Wings; Suntan City; Team Powersports; Smithfield Chicken and BBQ; and Biscuitville.
John Helme Jr. is matching the money raised plus additional money to raise the total donation to $1,400.
Anyone who wants to contribute to this charity can send checks to Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center at 2301 Erwin Road Durham, NC 27710. Write JJ Helme III Memorial Ride 2012 in the memo.