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Big turnout at first Swamp Fest

By Staff | Jun 3, 2009

Motorcycle enthusiasts turned out in droves for the first-ever Swamp Fest held at the Shell Factory & Nature Park over the weekend.
“The Shell Factory staff is thrilled with the turnout and the support the biker community has given to the Swamp Fest,” said Donna Ellis, marketing manager for the Shell Factory. “We welcome them back next year.”
The fun included a bike contest, a poker run, vendors with everything motorcycle, bike games and other activities. Live bands included Treetop Flyers and Capt. Jack and the Black Pearls.
Safety awareness groups provided educational materials. Motorcycle safety advocate organization ABATE of Southwest Florida had a busy booth, reminding participants that the month of May is always deemed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. ABATE stands for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.
Ron Berg is safety director for the Southwest Florida chapter.
“We’re also here to raise money for safety awareness and the Motorcycle Safety Awareness Program (MSAP) and we’ve had new members sign up,” he said.
“It was a great event all around,” said ABATE Southwest Florida chapter President Frank M. Kennedy Sr.
Jay Anderson, executive director for Stay Alive, was there also promoting safe driving and talked about his non-profit agency.
“We’re an effort to curb distracted driving. We provide education to the community to make people aware of the dangers of distracted driving,” he said.
View his Web site at: said.org.
Berdie Clark and Teresa Webster of ABATE collected stuffed animals and handled the Poke Run booth for the event held Sunday.
“The Poker Run was awesome,” said Webster.
The toys were collected for the Lee Sheriff’s Office for officers to hand out in trauma situations to area children. It’s been an ongoing project for ABATE, Clark said.
“Many brought stuffed animals when they came to the run, and others just dropped them off,” he added.
Other organizations also were represented. John Cunningham, Jack Barnet and “Right Turn” Cunningham manned the Christian Motorcyclists Association booth. “Here if you need us” is the group’s motto.
Shell Factory officials said they plan on hosting the event again next year.