Annual bike blessing set for Saturday

Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts will descend upon Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center for a good cause on Saturday — the 21st Annual B.J. Stelly Bike Blessing and Fundraiser.

The Rev. Sinclair Oubre, who heads up the Apostleship of the Sea, said he is anticipating anywhere from 350 to 500 motorcyclists to attend the event that also includes a Yahtzee Run, food and more. Dozens of door prizes will be awarded and there will be a 50/50 drawing.

There’s even an incentive to register early — a free ride pin. Registration is $20 per ride and $20 per passenger.

“This is the biggest annual motorcycle event in southeast Texas,” Oubre said. “We strongly encourage people to register. The funds go to take care of the 23,000 seafarers who come to south county every year.”

Oubre said the bike blessing and run is named after B.J. Stelly who was a Port Acres area resident and lifelong biker. Stelly battled addictions and during recovery, started volunteering at the center.

“He was just great,” Oubre said. “He could have as much coffee as he wanted and smoke cigarettes and in a concrete way served other people and thereby responding to the need to make amends.”

Sadly, after two years of volunteerism, Stelly was killed in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana.

“B.J. was a wonderful guy and I’ve began to believe he was pretty mystical in his won right,” he said. “He was a big help to us in directly taking care of seafarers.”

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the bike blessing is scheduled for 10 a.m. First bike out is at 10:30 a.m., last bike in at 3 p.m. Links and live music will be from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The seafarers center is located at 401 Houston Ave., at the corner of Houston Avenue and Procter Street. For more information, go to www.paseafarercenter.org

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