Charity motorcycle run returns to Bethany

DiFebo’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach will host its second annual motorcycle run to support education for the children of fallen police officers this weekend, on Sunday, April 30.

Last year’s police-escorted ride and post-ride barbecue was a smashing success — nearly 150 bikers participated, including more than a dozen uniformed officers, according to DiFebo’s co-owner Jeff Osias, and they raised a $12,000 donation for the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) organization.

Osias said he was hoping for good weather again this year, and an even better turnout. He said he’d been generating some extra interest by displaying another brand new Harley-Davidson in the DiFebo’s lobby — a 2006 “Street Bob” in black-cherry red.

“Same powertrain as a ‘Fat Boy,’ but a little lighter, so maybe feistier,” Osias noted. The bike ordinarily goes for a little more than $15,000 — one lucky $20 raffle ticket will bring it home this weekend.

It’s an added incentive to get off the couch and participate, but Osias offered a reminder that there’d be a 50/50 drawing and Chinese and silent auctions as well.

And riders will once again have their chrome shined to a mirror finish as they pursue this year’s Best Bike trophy. The post-ride barbecue should offer a great opportunity to check out that competition.

The idea to hold a bike run started simply enough, Osias pointed out — family and friends wanted to organize a group ride with a barbecue after. But they’d quickly decided, he said, that if they were going put such an event together, they ought to give it for a good purpose.

COPS does a lot for the families of fallen officers — the organization offers trial and parole support, peer counseling, counseling and retreats. Helping bridge the gap between spousal death benefits and educational expenses, like tuition payments, is just one element.

Osias said he and his wife, Lisa DiFebo-Osias, and the others had decided this was where they wanted to place their focus. He thanked Capt. Richard Pulling of the Delaware State Police for pointing them in the right direction and helping them find a way to do that.

Family and friends had established a nonprofit with education in mind since last year’s bike run, Osias said, and most of this year’s proceeds would pass into the newly-created Fallen Officers Education Fund.

“This is a long-term thing that we want to build,” he pointed out, though they continue to support COPS as well.

Last year, he’d envisioned a four-or five-year timeframe for building a fund large enough to start supporting those bridge-the-gap scholarships. However, after the strong response in 2005, and hoping for similar or even greater participation this year, Osias suggested the Fallen Officers Education Fund might actually reach self-sufficiency even sooner.

“It’s a great cause, and whenever you talk to people about it, they’re ready to get behind it, 100 percent,” he said.

The ride is rain or shine. Participants can pre-register ($35) or just show up ($40) on the day of the event, Sunday, April 30. Riders will start lining up at 10 a.m. sharp – the police escort pulls out of DiFebo’s parking lot at 11 a.m.

DiFebo’s restaurant is located at 789 Garfield Parkway (Route 26), in Bethany Beach, about a half-mile west of Route 1. For more information, call (302) 539-4550.