SALYERSVILLE – Roughly 250 people participated in the Hillbilly Christmas in July Ride on Saturday, which ran from Pikeville, through Floyd, Johnson and Magoffin counties and ending at the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) with a motorcycle giveaway and silent auction.
The annual ride raises money for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington, KY, with this being the 17th year for the nonprofit.
Jimmy Kinney, with Hillbilly Christmas in July, Inc., told Mortimer Media Group at the MAC on Saturday, “With all of the motorcycles we’ve given away, we’re over $200,000, but we’ve taken $671,000 to the hospital, so I guess it balances out pretty good.”
This year they did have a hard time contacting the winner of the Harley Davidson, for the first time in 17 years, with their phone number not in service when dialed.
On Saturday Kinney laughed, “This is the first time I have dialed a number to say, ‘you have won a motorcycle,’ and I get a number not in service, so I guess I got their phone number written down wrong, but we will get them.”
After some searching, they were able to track down Donnie Allen, of Pikeville, who was able to eventually ride off with a brand-new bike.
The group is set to take the money raised during this year’s Hillbilly Christmas in July to the Shriners Hospital for Children on Tuesday, July 26, with $65,000 raised from the ride and $10,000 from Gearheart Communications for a total of $75,000 for the hospital.