Motorcycle drive raises money

Mar. 17, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

 With an outpouring of love, community members donated their time and money Saturday for six local children who lost their parents in a single-vehicle accident earlier this year.

A slew of events — including several musical performances, a motorcycle remembrance drive, a car and motorcycle show, a live auction and several vendors — filled the Sanford Lions Club Fairgrounds to raise $60,000 for the children of Aaron Powers, Kathy Powers, Chris Baker and Becky Powell.

Aaron Powers, 31, and his wife, Kathy, 35, both of Sanford; Baker, 33, of Broadway; and his girlfriend, Powell, 38, of Chapin, S.C., were killed in the single-vehicle accident Jan. 12 in the 600 block of Swanns Station Road. Law enforcement agencies responded to the accident at 2:34 a.m. after the vehicle reportedly ran off the road, hit a tree and struck a vacant home, igniting both the car and house, said N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Steven Spivey in a previous interview.

The four had a love for motorcycles and cars, said Jennifer Sallaz, a close friend who organized the benefit. Kathy and Aaron Powers, Baker and Powell would have been the first to contribute during the motorcycle ride, Sallaz said, because of their loving nature and desire to help.

“That’s why we wanted to incorporate the motorcycles and car shows,” Sallaz said. “Kathy, Chris, all of them enjoyed cars and we wanted to make sure that was done for them.”

The children need to know the community supports them, she said, and will continue to care for them.

“It’s for the kids,” Sallaz said. “All of it is for the children so they can have something down the road. And it’s a day of remembrance. I hope people come out with another memory of them.”

Diane Lawrence and Rodney Carter both knew the four people killed and said they were glad to contribute to the car show. Sitting in front of a 1972 Chevrolet pickup truck, Carter said he was glad to know the children would be taken care of.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “There are six children that are suffering.”

Lawrence said she went to Baker’s home after the accident, hugged his mother who said they weren’t suppose to bury their children.

“I hope it’s a success,” she said. “That the kids are taken care of. We thought the world of them.”

Amanda Grindle, who knew Kathy Powers, said she was amazed by the turnout.

“I got chills when (the bikers) first pulled up,” she said. “I want the children to know how much they are loved. And for them to know they are going to be taken care of.”

Tony and Penny Barbour, the stepfather and mother of Aaron Powers, were two of the hundreds who participated in the motorcycle drive in remembrance of those killed in the wreck. 

“It’s been very good and we appreciate each and everyone who is participating in this,” Penny Barbour said. “Aaron and Kathy are looking down and smiling. God bless each one of them.”