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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • B.A.C.A. gathers for rally

  • Bikers from around the state gathered at West 60 Cycle on Saturday for the Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) Missouri State Rally hosted by the local chapters.


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  • Bikers from around the state gathered at West 60 Cycle on Saturday for the Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) Missouri State Rally hosted by the local chapters.
    The bikers form a tough-looking extended family for children and families victimized by abusive situations. B.A.C.A. members said they want to help children not to be afraid in the world they live in.
    “We’re letting them know that not everybody out there is a criminal,” said Peaches, one of the child liaisons for the West Central Missouri group.
    Their rides and fundraisers like this helps communities understand who they are and what they do.
    “It touches their heart and they really want to know more about it,” she said.
    There are 15 B.A.C.A. chapters in Missouri: Ava, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Chillicothe, Conway, Farmington, Kansas City, Liberal, Monett, New Florence, Ozark, Sedalia, West Plains and two in St. Louis.
    People think of bikers and children and Christmas toy runs, but B.A.C.A. does more. 
    “Our main goal is to empower the child to feel safe enough to testify against their accused,” said Shagy, one of the event organizers.
    Their slogan is “no child should live in fear.” Members connect with families by working with local and state law enforcement, children’s advocacy centers, prosecuting attorneys’ offices and district attorneys. Children are “adopted” into the group, giving them someone to call for backup.
    When a child is “adopted,” they are given a road name – like the ones other B.A.C.A. members go by – the new member also gets a patch, sticker and the chance to pick out a bike to sit on.
    The B.A.C.A. chapter brings as many members as possible to the introduction ride so the child feels protected. To the child they are buddies, but they are also a show of force riding through the neighborhood and announcing their presence. Towards the abuser there is an intimidation factor.
    “If you knock one of us down today there will be 10 of us there tomorrow,” Shagy said. “If you
    knock 10 of us down there will be 50 of us. We’re not going away.”
    Sometimes they travel to the courtroom when the child testifies. Sometimes just knowing they are there is enough.
    Just because they may intimidate an abuser doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to talk about their passion for helping children.
    “We’re not scary, we’re not mean,” Peaches said.
    She said the group is always looking for supporters, even if they don’t ride. Funds raised from the weekend event at West 60 will go towards counseling and support for area children. Statistically, she added, Southwest Missouri needs more help than other areas of the state.
    Page 2 of 2 - Being available for children is a key point for these bikers.
    “We try to let every kid that wants to come and sit on our bikes,” Scrappy said. “It’s amazing to see the looks on their faces.”
    The Missouri state hotline for B.A.C.A. takes referrals for cases pending with the state at 877-773-8790 or visit the Web site at www.bacausa.com for more information.
    The Jasper-based West Central Missouri chapter meets the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Jasper Tavern.
    The Monett-based 7 Valleys Missouri chapter meets the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. in the VFW hall, Monett.
     
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