BREWER, Maine (WABI) The Maine Motorcycle Experience held a bike show at High Tide restaurant in Brewer. Proceeds benefited the Maine Veteran's Project.
"I was thinking about putting on a bike show months ago, and when I finally decided to go through with it I linked up with a friend of mine, who linked me up with Doc Goodwin of the Maine Veterans Project, and I wanted this to be a veteran event I wanted just veterans and bikers to come together," said Wes Canning, founder of Maine Motorcycle Experience.
With nearly 100 bikes on hand, folks enjoyed food, raffles, and live music while bikers competed in six different categories to win awards.
"Pretty cool, because people ask me why are you spending your time, and money, building a custom bike when everyone else wants a Harley," said Troy Grass, bike show award winner. "I could build four of these that would win a custom bike show for the price of one Harley-Davidson. so, that's why we do it."
The Maine Veteran's Project works to prevent veteran suicide throughout the state, a problem that project president Shawn Goodwin says effects a lot of people.
"The gratitude to a veteran is just, you know, I've been there," said Goodwin "I've been to combat. I've seen it. it's not, you know, it's not pretty. when people come home there's just a... it's just two different worlds over there and over here, and the sad part is you really can't differentiate sometimes."
At the show, one veteran was awarded a donated car. Goodwin says gestures like these go a long way for the former soldiers.
"The gentlemen that's receiving it was kind of in a bad place. so, this is going to be a huge help to him, but you know at the same time he was a huge help to our country too."
For folks at the show, it was a good day to get out and enjoy the summer air, but also to support a cause that was near to everyone's hearts.
"My dad was a Korean War veteran who just passed away this past July 17th," said Grass. "That's part of it. I have a nephew that was in the wars in Iraq. So, we all know somebody that was there. We know the struggles they go through."
"It's a team success," said Goodwin. "If we were doing this all on our own we'd be merely a drop in a big bucket. With all the people here helping us out donating, you know, coming forward to support causes like this. We've got a full team effort, and that's the reason we're successful."