Outstanding Volunteer Organization: Arkansas Bikers for Children

Bill Martin

Join the Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter on November 16 at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon and celebrate the collective compassion and dedication of this year’s honorees – individuals, organizations and businesses that are transforming the lives of all Arkansans.

By Barrett Gay | Photography by Sara Reeves

Arkansas Bikers for Children, established just five years ago, has generated more than $300,000 for life-saving medical equipment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Fifteen like-minded individuals joined forces with a focused mission and vision: to improve the health of kids. As a result of ABC’s support, ACH has acquired Anti-Gravity Treadmills for rehabilitation ($54,000), Trilogy Ventilators for the ICU ($60,000), Giraffe OmniBeds for the NICU ($54,000) and more. Of paramount importance to Chairman Bill Martin is that all ABC proceeds are exclusively utilized for purchasing these machines. Various fundraisers, including golf tournaments, bike rallies and crawfish boils, continue to cultivate new ACH ambassadors and further the organization’s impact in the community.

BILL HAS BEEN RIDING MOTORCYCLES SINCE 1960; it all started with a Harley-Davidson Springer. “Riding a motorcycle is like therapy. You can have a bad day, then you can hop on your bike and take off — even if you don’t go very far, you just get out and get the wind in your face, and it all gets better.” Through ABC, Bill and the other 22 board members combine a passion for motorcycles with a love for helping kids. “This has been the most gratifying thing I have ever done,” he notes. “Knowing the equipment we’re buying is saving lives – if it just saves one life, it’s worth while.”

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCOLADES, Bill insists. “I could care less about awards or anything else. It’s not about that. It’s about these children. I’m in it to help a child have a shot at life.” Bill also emphasizes that the organization has zero administrative costs – they don’t ever reimburse themselves for ABC-related purchases.

A FRIEND WHOSE CHILD RECEIVED CARE AT THE HOSPITAL once said, “‘It’s like he’s the only kid in the hospital. They take care of him like he’s the only kid there.’” For that, Bill says, “I respect the hospital greatly.”

“That we’re just a bunch of old country boys and people who like to ride motorcycles and have a profound love for children. A lot of people don’t recognize that the biking industry is probably one of the most generous toward kids and veterans.”

“My grandmother, who raised me, always told me, ‘treat other people like you like to be treated.’ That’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. The Golden Rule.”

“Arkansas Bikers for Children has a heart for children. This volunteer group has embraced the values of Arkansas Children’s: safety, teamwork, compassion and excellence. They are a shining example how we can truly impact lives by working together.” – Fred Scarborough, Chief Development Officer for Arkansas Children’s and President of Arkansas Children’s Foundation

Inviting Arkansas

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