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Thanksgiving a little brighter for 10 local families

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Lower Valley Riders members donated 10 Thanksgiving meals to clients served by Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services yesterday. The meals delivered are just a part of the group's efforts to help the community throughout the year.

Ten families served by Sunnyside's Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast because of the generous spirit of the Lower Valley Riders.

Members of the organization stopped at Sunnyside's Wylie House yesterday (Sunday), delivering boxes filled with all the trimmings necessary to make this Thanksgiving special for the families receiving the food.

Cheryl Burnes of the Lower Valley Riders said she and her friends have been donating Thanksgiving meals for clients of Wylie House for eight years.

That is the purpose of the organization, she said, stating Lower Valley Riders was founded on the basis of helping the community.

"There are members in the group who have been touched by the effects of domestic violence...when we were made aware of Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services, we decided to help," said Burnes.

Lower Valley Riders was founded by Burnes' husband, Don, and Ray DaLuna after Mr. and Mrs. Burnes suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident.

"We were blessed through the support of other community members...that inspired the founding of Lower Valley Riders," said Mrs. Burnes, adding not all members of the organization are motorcycle riders.

She said Lower Valley Riders has grown from its original size of 13 members and as it has grown, its programs have grown.

Lower Valley Crisis Center, said Burnes, is an organization Lower Valley Riders supports throughout the year. She said the group donates Thanksgiving meals, as well as Christmas and Easter packages.

"We have an annual campout each May," Burnes said of the organization's fundraisers, adding the campout is a weekend long event.

She said Lower Valley Riders also obtains donations from the community and businesses to assist in the efforts.

"We believe we get as much out of our programs and helping the community as those who benefit from our efforts," shared Burnes.

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