2004-04-16 / Community

New Motorcycle Club Looks To Help Community

Contributing Editor
By Miriam Rosenberg

New Motorcycle Club Looks To Help Community


Bryan “Puffla” Bland (president of DaRock Allstarz), Gordon “G.T.” Ross (Allstarz co-captain) and Michael “Freedom” Freeman (club coordinator) join P.O. Michael Valentino of the 101 Precinct after the 101 Precinct Community Council Meeting in February.Bryan “Puffla” Bland (president of DaRock Allstarz), Gordon “G.T.” Ross (Allstarz co-captain) and Michael “Freedom” Freeman (club coordinator) join P.O. Michael Valentino of the 101 Precinct after the 101 Precinct Community Council Meeting in February.

By Miriam Rosenberg

Contributing Editor

Hell’s Angels they’re not. They’re more like angels for the community. DaRock Allstarz is a motorcycle bike club, made up of men and women (mostly from the Rockaways) whose aim is to help the community they live in.

"Most of our members are from right here in Far Rockaway and the Rockaway Park area, and those individuals have come together…to basically give back to the community," Michael Freeman (club coordinator) told community members at a 101st Precinct Council meeting back in February.

"As Rock Allstarz, we’ll be going door-to-door to businesses and churches to see what we can do for the community. Whether it be a toy drive, whether it be painting a wall (to cover graffiti) … we’re there to help."

Bryan Bland, the president of the Allstarz who has lived in Far Rockaway all his life, wants to help change the image of the area.

"We want to try to lift Far Rockaway," Bland said. "A lot of people associate Far Rockaway with a negative stereotype…I want to bring a positive stigma to this community. Whether it is performances (which we actually plan), whether it is trying to get 17th Street and some type of vendor thing. Whatever it is. If you want to work with us, we’ll work with you."

The club, which was founded in 2001, currently has 48 members – nine who are female. They are made up of people from a diversity of professions. Freeman is a pharmacist and Bland is a computer programmer. There are also a vice president in administration for a Queens hospital, mechanics and construction workers who are members of the club.

The Allstarz did acknowledge the negative ideas that people have when they see a group of bikers.

"We don’t want to be pushed out there as a gang violating and upsetting the community," said Freeman. "We’re actually a motorcycle club trying to help out the community, work together with individuals inside Far Rockaway and also work with the NYPD."

DaRock Allstarz received a positive response from community leaders and the NYPD. In a recent interview, Freeman said that they have already received an invitation to take part in the 3rd Annual Rockaway Multicultural Family Festival to take place at O’Donohue Park in August.

Glenda Nesmith, president of the 101st Precinct Community Council, summed up the feelings of community members who met DaRock Allstarz at the February meeting.

"This is what we’re talking about, coming together, united for something that is good and positive," said Nesmith.

The club’s first public event, a bike blessing, will be June 12 on Beach 9 to Beach 17 Streets. Freeman explained that it is custom that when a season begins, or someone begins to ride, a bike blessing is held for a safe season.

All riders from the Rockaways and the Tri-state area are invited to have their bikes blessed by the pastors and priests who will be attending the event.

There will also be music and refreshments following the blessing. For more information, the club’s website is www.DaRockAllstarz.com.


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