Saturday, June 19, 2004

Warthogs ride in, see sights, raise cash



By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It's all about motorcycles and money this weekend in Cincinnati.

The Warthogs Motorcycle Club for police officers and firefighters rode into town Friday for their annual meeting. The group will tour the city on their motorcycles and talk about what charitable events they plan for next year.

Members ride North American-made motorcycles and raise money for families of officers and firefighters hurt and killed in the line of duty.

Cincinnati's club , has raised more than $17,000 since it started two years ago. Its 45 members come from 11 Hamilton County agencies.

"The whole thing is to build camaraderie among the police and fire services," said Cincinnati Police Officer Don "Hammerhead" Meece, the local group's founder.

Mayor Charlie Luken welcomed the group, expected to number about 300, Friday night at Neons bar in Over-the-Rhine.

The Warthogs also officially recognized their newest chapter - one in Northern Kentucky, started by former Fort Thomas Police Officer Dave Cook.

The Warthogs started in 2001 in Detroit, founded by a retired drug officer.

Members total more than 360, from 27 chapters in five states and Canada.

The group estimated its total charitable giving in three years at about $500,000, Meece said.

E-mail jprendergast@enquirer.com




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