DAHLONEGA - It was a solemn but fun day as motorcycle riders from across the region gathered to raise money for the family of two boys killed in a fatal boat crash on Lake Lanier this summer.
The Griffin and Jake Prince Memorial Ride took off from Dahlonega just before lunch Saturday.
Lewis Marshall and his wife made the trip from Alpharetta. Marshall said the tragedy hit home for them with kids of their own.
"We've got them 22, 18 and 11, so yeah, it hits home. Growing up here in Atlanta, spending a lot of time on Lake Lanier over the years, so it did," Marshall said.
Lisa Goodie of Dawsonville and her family took part in the ride. She said the tragedy also hit home.
"Especially since my daughter is almost the age of one of them. I think one of them was nine, and she'll be nine next year, so yeah," Goodie said.
The event wasn't all solemn. Riders packed the parking lot of the Lumpkin County Justice Center prior to the about 70 mile ride. Motorcycles included police cruisers, import bikes, customs, trikes and the all popular Harley-Davidson.
As far as the brand and style, Marshall, a Harley owner said it doesn't matter.
"It's just good with everyone on two wheels and some three wheels."
The crowd, although dressed in jeans and leathers featured a wide array of people. There were clubs, veterans, law enforcement, couples, families and young and old.
Goodie said her family of four, also Harley owners, enjoys charity rides together.
"My son rides with me and my daughter rides with my husband. They love it. They would get mad if we left the house without them being with us."
Sheriff's offices in Dawson, Lumpkin, Forsyth and Hall counties sponsored the event, with Dawson Sheriff's Lt. Doug Boyle organizing.
With a $40 per vehicle fee, the bikes that packed the parking lot prior to the ride promised to raise a lot of money for the Prince boys' memorial fund.
The Dawsonville Pool Room was on-hand for burgers and fries, with half the plate proceeds going to the fund. The Brian Jarrett Band was scheduled to provide music.
The Prince boys lost their lives when an alleged DUI boater crashed into the Prince family boat.
Law enforcement, the Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers community was personally involved in its nine days of searching the waters of Lake Lanier for 13-year-old Griffin.