MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of motorcycles will fill downtown Muskegon starting Wednesday for the annual Rebel Road Motorcycle Rally to benefit the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County.

The event, which runs from July 13 to July 17, is organized by a small team of volunteers and serves as the agency’s largest fundraiser. 

“The mission of the child abuse council is to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect through education, child advocacy, and community collaboration. So, basically, what that means is any child who has been physically or sexually abused can receive our services here at this agency. Everything is free of charge,” Kyleen Gee, the council’s executive director, said.  

Rebel Road 2022 will feature entertainment for all ages, including free concerts, motorcycle stunt shows, live professional wrestling, ax throwing, a free kids entertainment area, camping, dozens of vendors, thousands of bikes, and more.

Gee explained that fundraising accounts for approximately 33% of the agency’s annual operating budget. Rebel Road is one of about 10 events each year, but it brings in roughly 80% of the money generated from fundraising events.

“Every single penny raised after expenses comes back to this agency, and all of our services are free to the children and families we serve, so it’s a direct impact,” Gee said. “So, if you’re coming downtown and you’re going to one of our concerts, or you’re buying an adult beverage in one of our beer tents, or you’re buying from one of our vendors, you are directly helping the mission of our agency.”

The council offers various important services, including on-site forensic interviews, specialized medical exams, counseling, and court prep. They also have a prevention program that works with every school in Muskegon County, teaching kids about personal safety and the Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program. CASA trains citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interest of kids in the court system. The agency serves more than 20,000 children in Muskegon County annually.

“Child abuse and neglect in general, in particular, child sexual abuse, is something that a lot of people don’t want to imagine happened, don’t want to talk about it, but we here at the agency can tell you it happens every single day in every single community… it knows no boundaries,” Gee said. 

She added that although it’s a difficult topic, there is hope. 

“When these families have that intervention through services like what we provide here, they can begin to heal, and they can begin to have a healthy, safe, normal, productive life.”

For more information about the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County, visit www.childabusecouncil.org. Details about Rebel Road, including the full schedule of events, can be found online.