Bikers Against Child Abuse Group Grows
More than doubling in size in the past year, the Western Connecticut chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) motorcycle organization, which was founded in 2016, has grown. Statewide, the club, dedicated to combatting child abuse, has had a presence for 15 years. Adding to the dozens of full BACA members are prospects, or those in the process of becoming a prospect and have submitted applications.
BACA meets at the Newtown VFW on the second Monday of every month, at 7 pm. The public is welcome to attend.
According to chapter president “Irish,” “As a chapter and as a state, our emphasis this year was to really raise the bar with our awareness efforts.” The push included “making as many agency contacts as possible, attending as many local events as possible,” such as the recent Danbury BBQ and Big Blocks, he said. The club had a booth at the event “and was able to hand out quite a few flyers about our organization.”
Members attended large events in other towns in past months also, he said.
Additionally, “Our membership is always out on two wheels as much as possible. The public sees us and our patch and hopefully looks us up or asks about us,” said Irish. “The number one goal at all times has been reaching new children, which also happens to be our biggest obstacle.”
He said, “Besides connecting with new families,” their outreach has increased interest in membership. “The club received four new applicants for membership at our last meeting alone. Every single month for the past six months, we have grown in membership.”
The organization’s annual 100-mile ride in May was its “largest turnout ever,” Irish said.
“The community is seeing us out and about, on rides and in the media,” Irish added.
Aside from appearing in area print media, Irish said, “I just did an interview with Comcast Newsmakers in Groton,” which will publish on their website in coming weeks. BACA members also “just connected with the National Exchange Club Foundation while attending an event in Bristol,” he commented. The two organizations are looking at how to mutually fight child abuse.
Irish said, “We will speak to anyone and everyone who will listen. These kids are innocent and should be allowed to live without fear. They deserve to be happy kids; we will keep empowering them.” He asks the public to share BACA info and “refer families to us who may be in need. We are ready to help more kids.”
For the first time since 2016, the prospects outnumber the patched membership, Irish said. “We have a very strong sponsorship and training program developed by BACA International. New applicants are taken step-by-step through our process; everything is designed to get these folks ready to help kids. It takes an entire year of training to become a fully patched member, and all of our members continue to train ongoing.”
Irish said, “I cannot say enough good things about the people who surround me in BACA. They are sacrificing time away from families and work for our mission.” He said he is “incredibly proud of these folks and truly consider them my brothers and sisters.”
As the mission statement explains on bacaworld.org, “Bikers Against Child Abuse Inc exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children.
“We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner; however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.” See the website to learn more about the organization, how it was founded, and how it works to help children.
Reach members through the website or call the help line at 203-501-9324.