Local motorcyclists raise record amount for Horry County firefighters

Local motorcyclists raise record amount for Horry County firefighters

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson held its annual 9-11 ride and saw more people show up this year than ever before to honor the lives lost and give back.

"Our club, we try to give back as much as we possibly can in the community," said Steve Kelsey, a member of the Axemen Firefighter Motorcycle Group. "It's ... it's always something great."

On Thursday, Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson and members of several veteran motorcycle clubs saw just how thankful Horry County firefighters were for the more than $8,000 donation.

"When they called me to tell me, I was almost in tears because it's such a large amount," said Horry County Fire Capt. Paul Crutchfield. "To date it's our largest fundraiser amount we've done. It's just unbelievable. I don't have the words to explain how it felt, but it was just awesome."

That unbelievable feeling was shared by Kelsey.

"Well I'm a retired now but I've been in the fire service for 42 years, and right now ... I'm getting chills on my arms," said Kelsey, who was overwhelmed by not only giving back to fellow firefighters but also remembering the day so many were lost on Sept. 11, 2001. "First responders did a phenomenal job that day. And yes a lot of lives were lost. But you can't imagine how many lives were saved that day either."

The money raised will go directly to the Horry County Firefighters Relief Fund, which has been around since 2006 after an accident involving Horry County firefighters.

Crutchfield said ever since the fund was implemented, it has helped countless firefighters and citizens from not only Horry County but the surrounding areas as well.

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