Riding club focuses on community service projects

PLYMOUTH — Although FIST (Friends In Service Together) a Marshall County-based riding club, has been meeting since March, they recently completed their first project: helping to collect donations for the annual Heminger House motorcycle ride.
The purpose of the club, said founder Don “Ace” Davis, is to to provide support, organized fundraising, and service work to community based organizations or individuals.
This is the club’s mission statement, and they are currently looking for new members who are interested in helping them fulfill that cause.
“We are not looking for numbers,” said co-founder James “JT” Troutner. “We would rather have 10 people who are willing to commit themselves to our mission statement.”
Troutner and Davis, as well as a third club member Sharla “Sassy” Rundle, all work together at Bowen Center in Plymouth.
Troutner said that his involvement in FIST is important to him because of his passion for helping people.
“(FIST) is an opportunity for me to give back outside of my professional life,” said Troutner. “There’s something that I love, and that’s motorcycles
Davis said he is looking forward to increasing community awareness of programs and organizations that do exist to help families or children who have suffered abuse.
However, the club is willing to support any non-profit organization, including churches.
Part of their goal is to change what they see as the general public’s negative opinion of bikers.
“We want to make sure that when people see FIST in the community, they don’t think, ‘Oh no, there’s a bunch of troublemakers,’” said Troutner. “In the motorcycle world, when you look at groups, there’s definitely a stigma attached to that — and we want to change that.”
The 10 members of the club are currently hard at work on their next project: holding their own motorcycle ride for Prevent Child Abuse Porter County. Davis said that the ride is to raise awareness, but not necessarily funds, for the organization.
Anyone can request FIST to support their organization or project by visiting the club’s website, www.fistrc.com and using the contact information listed. Those interested in joining the club can also inquire through the website.
“The only requirements to join are first, you have to ride,” said Troutner. “And also, you have to be willing to support our mission of fostering the ideals of family, brotherhood, and service.”