'Gonna ride and raise money:' Motorcycle race supports South Walton firefighter in need

thunder beach
Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 04:51 PM.

While they may not be blood related, firefighters are brothers.

Almost five years ago, Fort Walton Beach firefighter, DJ Stone, decided to host a charity motorcycle ride to raise money for his actual brother, Shannon, a fellow Fort Walton Beach firefighter. Shannon 's son was born with a cleft lip and palate and DJ wanted to help the family with the mounting medical costs.

The motorcyclists made stops at area fire stations, where fellow firefighters generously donated a total of $5,000 to help with medical expenses.

"It was a huge help," Shannon said. "I was so moved by the outreach, which is not uncommon of firefighters."

As avid motorcyclists, Shannon and DJ have been riding Harleys for years. But when DJ had the idea for a charity ride, he kept his older brother in the dark.

"It was all pre-arranged," Shannon said. "He just said 'We're gonna ride and raise money.' "

As Shannon, DJ and 85 other bikers — most of them firefighters — stopped at fire stations in South Walton, Destin and Fort Walton Beach , a hat was passed around for firefighters to donate whatever they could.

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