T he unmistakable growl of Harley V-twins slices through the dawn. Then out of the mist, they appear — a roaring mass of leather and chrome reflecting the early morning sun.
No, it’s not the Hell’s Angels. It’s the Lords of Mockery, a motorcycle club made up of retail LP and security professionals who ride together for camaraderie and to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The club was founded four years ago by Scott “Thumper” Sanford, director of LP, investigations and training for Barnes & Noble; Jeff “Cowboy” Fulmer, vice president of LP for Barnes & Noble; Pat “Chum” Dineen, executive director, national accounts, customer relations and business development for Stanley Convergent Security Solutions; and Ray “The Prodigy” Esposito, district general manager for Stanley. Its tongue-in-cheek mission statement: “We want to be free, free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man.”
“We just want to have some fun, network and do some good at the same time,” says Sanford. “We just built a website this year and started up the whole fundraising effort for St. Jude’s.”
The club has 14 members, “but a lot more people are taking an interest in joining,” Sanford says. “Our goal is to have retail and security industry people from all over the country. The idea is for them to hold their own Poker runs on the weekends to benefit St. Jude’s. Eventually we’d like the club to go national with hundreds of chapters affiliated with retail, law enforcement and the security industry.”
Jackie Harris, director of St. Jude’s volunteer event marketing, says “We are excited to have the Lords of Mockery raising money for the children of St. Jude. They recently completed a Cruisin’ for St. Jude bike run to Ocean City, Md. ... and raised $7,000 in donations and commitments. Their event exceeded the national average.”
The club’s affiliation with St. Jude’s strikes a personal chord with Sanford, who lost a brother to leukemia many years ago. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a wonderful organization and we have a great working relationship with them,” he says. “A lot of families can’t afford medication and treatment, but no child is ever turned away. Because of that St. Jude’s needs $67 million annually.”
The club is already setting its sights on other fundraising events. The Lords are looking at the possibility of another ride sometime this fall — in the Midwest or even a Grand Canyon Run from Las Vegas.
“We’re putting out a call out to all the Lords ...We have a member in San Diego, one in Cleveland,” Sanford says. “We’re starting to appoint chapter presidents in major metropolitan areas to see how far they can develop.”
Overall, the Lords have an ambitious but worthwhile goal. “I want to raise about $100,000 between now and next year for St. Jude’s,” Sanford says. “We already have some vendor sponsors on our website’s donation link and a few more are committed.
“We also have a few ideas about how to bolster corporate donations — including going to individual retailers. But we’re developing things as we go along. We feel there’s strength in numbers. If each member can bring five people on board, we can have 50-100 members in no time at all.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the club, joining or donating can visit www.lordsofmockery.com.