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ABATE of South Carolina Coordinator Report

By FastFred Ruddock, February 17, 2007

January and February have been trying times for many of us. Our treasurer Bad Bob was seriously injured while riding one of his motorcycles when a car violated his right of way by pulling out and striking him. Ironically Bob was on his way home from a friend’s funeral that had been killed in another accident. Our legislative coordinator Dennis Welborn is recovering nicely from open heart surgery. Other issues seem to pale in comparison to the well being of our family.

However all of us should be concerned about Senate Bill S141: Criminal Gang Prevention Act. The title of the bill seems innocuous enough and there is a growing problem of youth street gangs that beg attention. However upon careful inspection of the wording of this bill S141 several serious flaws become apparent. I urge all of the bikers of ABATE to carefully read the bill for themselves. A copy of the current gang bill is provided in this newsletter for your inspection. Paul N.Uricchio,III of Uricchio and Associates Law Firm has been kind enough to study the proposed gang bill S141 and write an article in terms you and I can easily understand.

As your state coordinator I have been very busy during the past month following the gang bill’s progression through committees in our state senate. Many concerned members have been calling and meeting with me regarding this menacing legislation. Some of these members have gone further and organized membership drive gatherings to recruit other concerned bikers to join the fight. ABATE is becoming more diverse and representative of all motorcyclists in South Carolina. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our newest members and brothers. I encourage all members to recruit more South Carolina bikers from every walk of life to our cause.

Serving as the coordinator of ABATE of South Carolina places a lot of mileage on my motorcycle. During the past month I attended the legislative meeting on the first Saturday of February and visited with Bad Bob at the hospital; other members visited Bad Bob after our legislative meeting. I saw at the meeting that many of you have stepped up to help in legislative matters while Dennis rests and heals following his surgery. The following weekend I attended Bad Bob’s Benefit BBQ before paying another visit to Bad Bob in the hospital, Afterwards I rode to the Coastal Area meeting near Florence. Finally I rode along with the Coastal Area Coordinator to the East Cooper Oyster Roast during the same weekend.

The original purpose of my trip to the Coastal Area Meeting was to answer questions from their membership. Strangely enough they did not have any questions when I arrived. However I did have a lot of fun and brotherhood hanging out with the coastal members. We talked about the issues facing ABATE and a few internal issues. Most of the members seem to be quite pleased with the current direction ABATE is headed. I would be happy to visit your chapter or area if you invite me to visit or answer questions at your next meeting.

I attempt to focus my efforts where the greatest need is present rather than where I may get the most pats on the back; I reckon I gained this trait in the process of earning my Eagle Scout award as a young man many years ago. Spartanburg is an area where there are many bikers but no ABATE chapters; I have focused most of my recruiting efforts in the Spartanburg area. Preferring to lead by example rather than bossing people around I provide some guerilla theater for potential members. Some of the theater involves riding lidless through Lake Lure where many South Carolina bikers from Spartanburg and the Upstate regularly hangout. This seems to catch their attention and create interesting conversations at the Margaritagrille. There is a huge potential for growth in the upper region of our state. ABATE’s future success rests upon waking the sleeping giant in the Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg Metropolitan Area.

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