Skeleton Krew hosts annual fundraiser for ALS

Published 8:42 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017

For five years, a local motorcycle club has taken to the Beaufort County roads in honor of one of their own. They’ll do it again this weekend to raise money for the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS Association.

The sixth-annual Chuck “Knucklehead” Garrett Benefit hosted by the Skeleton Krew of Iron Order Motorcycle Club will be held Saturday, staring with a motorcycle ride at noon and ending with live music, raffles, food and more at the Sunset Lounge in Chocowinity. It’s an event that has raised more than $50,000 for ALS in the past five years in Garrett’s memory. Garrett died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological degenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2013.

“When we first started, Chuck was still alive, and it made him very happy,” Chuck Garrett’s brother, Ira “Screech” Garrett said of the fundraiser. “It’s very important to me personally because Chuck was my blood brother and my club brother.”

The brothers started the Skeleton Krew chapter together; Ira Garrett is now the president. For the past three years, the Skeleton Krew’s donation, combined with than of Chuck Garrett’s daughter Barbara Wilkins’ team, has been the biggest contribution at the Down East Walk, part of the Walk to Defeat ALS sponsored by the ALS Association.

“We always hold this event the weekend before the ALS walk, so we can donate our money at the walk,” Ira Garrett said.

The memorial ride starts at the club on Terrapin Track Road.

“We’ll ride to Bath, because Chuck and I both grew up in Bath, then stop at the clubhouse and then ride back to the Sunset,” Ira Garrett said.

Festivities start at 2 p.m.; food will be served at 5 p.m. Brandon Bailey, winner of the 2013 American Country Star contest, will perform on acoustic guitar, followed by the Moonshine Band — billed as eastern North Carolina’s “hardest working band” — playing country and southern rock. Lee Cherry, of Lee Cherry Entertainment, has contributed to the success of the fundraiser, according to Ira Garrett.

“He provides the entertainment every year for this. He’s been very helpful over the years,” Ira Garrett said.

At 9 p.m., Michael Teeter will perform the national anthem on electric guitar, which has become an annual tradition.

Ira Garrett said the fundraiser has brought many people together for a common cause.

“It’s not just the club doing this. It’s the community doing this,” he said. “It does mean a lot to both my blood family and my club family. We people from the club who come from all over the state, as well as out of state, to support us.”

The Sunset Lounge is located at 4203 U.S. Highway 17 in Chocowinity. Cover charge is $10 per person. For more information, visit Iron Order Skeleton Krew’s Facebook page.