A ride for others' lives

Celebrities came out in force Saturday to Glendale Harley Davidson to raise money for reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

The rainy day drew fewer people than organizers anticipated to the Ride 4 Haiti event. Still, the wet weather didn’t damper riders’ goodwill.

“Haiti just went through an earthquake, so a few drops of rain is not going to stop me from doing anything,” said Jimmy Jean-Louis, star of the TV show “Heroes.” “Don’t forget, right now we have people sleeping under the rain, so I can definitely ride for an hour in the rain.”

The ride benefited the nonprofit Hollywood Unites for Haiti, which Jean-Louis founded in 2008 out of a need to help the children of his impoverished homeland.

And when the magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit the island nation Jan. 12 and killed more than 200,000 people, Jean-Louis kicked his fundraising efforts into high gear.

But the country’s needs are great.

Organizers are still trying feed earthquake victims and place about 2 million Haitians in tents, said Jean-Louis, who’s also the Pan American Foundation’s Goodwill Ambassador for Haitian children.

“There is the rebuilding of Haiti that needs to be done, and that’s a monster because everything needs to be done again,” he said.

Being able to help Haiti rebuild motivated Patrick Ryan and his family to ride from their California City home to Glendale.

“That’s one of the reasons we are here,” he said. “We don’t normally just get up and go.”

Saturday’s ride began at the motorcycle shop in the 3700 block of San Fernando Road and ended at Bert’s Mega Mall in Covina.

Bands were scheduled to perform at the motorcycle shop, but moved to Bert’s Mega Mall due to the rain, said Steve Fisher, the shop’s marketing director.

Moving the ride to another day wasn’t an option, because it will help hundreds of thousands of Haitians rebuild their homes and community, he said.

“It’s the only reason to do it,” Fisher said.

Reconstructing Haiti will take a lot more than one ride, but he said “everybody’s heart is in the right place to make sure that they can build their buildings.”

Participating in the event gave rider E. Pierce comfort knowing that his money was going to help earthquake victims.

“It makes you feel good because I know that there are a lot of other frivolous things that you could spend your money on other than trying to give back to humanity,” he said. “When you allow yourself to help in an unselfish way, it’s always a positive thing.”

A ride for others' lives