ABATE plans motorcycle swap Feb. 17

ABATE of Ohio Inc., Region 1, is revving up for its 23rd-annual motorcycle swap meet which will be held Feb. 17 at Eastern Gateway Community College.

The all-indoor event gets under way when doors open at 9 a.m. to patrons. It will feature motorcycle accessories, leather goods, T-shirts, drawings, door prizes, and food and beverages, according to Steve Diekman, director of Region 1 which covers Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont and Monroe counties.

Admission is $6 per person and free for those age 16 and younger. Vendor spaces are available for $35 with two tables per vendor provided. Vendor setup will be from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Checks and money orders to reserve a vendor spot can be made payable to ABATE of Ohio Inc. Region 1 and sent to Leslie Aftanas at 1947 Twp. Road 381, Steubenville, OH 43952.

For information, call Leslie at (740) 284-1577 or Steve at (740) 632-2950.

ABATE is an acronym for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rights, improving the image and promoting the safe operating practices of Ohio motorcyclists, according to Diekman. Other goals include presenting events for members, fundraising for charities and promoting ABATE.

“We gather and disseminate information pertinent to the promotion of motorcycling and the lifestyle of motorcycling,” Diekman said. “We monitor legislative activity regarding laws affecting motorcyclists, especially those designed to restrict our freedom of choice. We mount vigorous campaigns for motorcycle education and related safety programs,” he added, noting the group supports the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

“ABATE is a freedom-of-choice organization dedicated to the premise that the individual is best suited to decide the type of motorcycle to ride, type of safety gear worn and personal lifestyle. The primary objective of ABATE is to monitor motorcycle related legislation and encourage all members to become politically involved to affect positive legislation and deter that of a negative nature,” according to Diekman.

“Through public forums, writing letters and meeting elected representatives, ABATE members have the opportunity to speak about their side of the issues and educate government leaders about the needs and desires of Ohio motorcyclists. The legislative director and regional coordinators help facilitate these efforts and, when necessary, provide a communication link between the group and elected officials,” he continued.

Since its incorporation in April 1978, ABATE of Ohio Inc. has been instrumental in improving the lot of Ohio bikers in many areas, according to Diekman. ABATE worked to pass legislation to create Motorcycle Ohio, which trains thousands of new motorcyclists each year and offers a course for the experienced rider, he said, noting information on that can be obtained by calling 1-800-83-RIDER.

ABATE of Ohio Inc. initiated the veterans and handicapped motorcycle license programs and consulted with the legislature to draft the current motorcycle helmet law, he explained.

Each May, ABATE sponsors the Motorcycle Awareness Rally at the state house to raise public awareness of the fact that it is spring, and motorcyclists are back on the roads in greater numbers. “Through regional programs, ABATE members have staged and participated in events that have raised tens of thousands of dollars and collected much needed clothing, toys and other items for charitable causes,” he said.

“Perhaps our greatest achievement is the creation of an organization that enables you to become educated both politically and in the safe riding practices and that offers you activities and the brotherhood of fellow motorcyclists. This ensures that we and our children will be able to enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear,” he concluded.

Eldurays Band at

Country Friends

Country Friends will host the Eldurays Band on Saturday at the Memorial Hall located at 402 Old Police Lodge Road, Colliers.

Country Friends has events every Monday, Friday and Saturday at the hall. The doors open at 6 p.m. each Saturday, and the dance starts at 7 p.m. On Monday and Friday, the doors open at 4 p.m., and open mic begins at 6 p.m. Participants can bring a covered dish if they so desire for the meal that begins at 5 p.m.

Country Friends Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Christian friendship and brotherly love through music. All proceeds go to charity.

For information, call (304) 527-4253 or (304) 479-1270. The website is www.countryfriendsfoundation.com.

Knights to hold pasta dinner

The Weirton Knights of Columbus will hold a spaghetti dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 in the knight’s hall gallery lounge.

The meal will include spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread and coffee. The cost is $7 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under and free for under 3.

Takeout is available to those who bring their own containers.

Swim-a-thon to benefit relay

The Stratton Seacats Swim Team will be holding its annual Swim-a-Thon Mini Relay for Life on March 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Stratton indoor pool.

The Seacats are challenging all local teams and the public to come and participate in the Ohio Valley Swim-a-Thon to recognize the sport of swimming, bring awareness for the cause and raise money for the Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the ACS.

For information, contact Jennifer Sperry at (740) 317-9837 or visit Stratton Seacats Swim Team on Facebook.

Caregiver support

meetings set

The Alzheimer’s Association will be holding its monthly caregiver support group meetings on the following dates:

— Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Eastern Gateway Community College, 4000 Sunset Blvd., Room 1500, Steubenville.

— Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 400 Walnut St., Martins Ferry.

For information, call the Alzheimer’s Association at (330) 650-0552 or 1 (800) 272-3900.