Off Road Club ready for cleanup

Organizers are prepared for their annual Go Topless Day scheduled for Saturday, May 14, as Jeep enthusiasts will help clean up the Allegheny National Forest.The T-Bones Offroad Club is sponsoring the Litter Pickin' Jeep Ride and participants will start and finish at Sandy Beach Recreational Park in Ridgway Township."The idea for T-Bones Off Road Club started in 2009 when a group of friends who owned Jeeps talked about forming a club that would get together and go on rides and do events that could benefit the community," said Kellie Mocik, one of the event organizers. "In 2010, we got together to discuss Annual Go Topless Day (for Jeeps) to celebrate the coming of nice weather when the tops could be taken off the jeeps."Go Topless Day is usually the first or second Saturday in May. "In May 2010, we launched our first event with a Litter Pickin’ Jeep Ride at Sandy Beach," Mocik said. "We had 93 people register to help with the litter pickup. "We partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and Joe Langanese out of Marienville. They discussed where they wanted the litter picked up and then we split into groups and headed out to clean up."After the cleanup, participants met back at Sandy Beach and everyone who participated enjoyed a picnic lunch. "After the lunch we drew for door prizes, then the group went on a Jeep ride," Mocik said. "The weather didn’t cooperate but everyone still had a great time."The group was able to make monetary donations to the Ridgway Fire Department, as well as to the Ridgway YMCA. "This year, T-Bones Off Road Club has 40 members," Mocik said. "We are a community-oriented group that likes to do things that support and benefit our community, along with having some fun. "We don’t discriminate, we encourage all those Jeep and 4x4 enthusiasts to join us whenever we have an event."This year’s donation will be to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.At 10 a.m., after the U.S. Forest Service officials discuss the areas to be covered, everyone will split into groups and begin the cleanup. "Around 3 p.m., we will meet back at Sandy Beach to have our picnic and the drawing of door prizes," Mocik said. "Then the group can participate in an optional ride and the destination will be announced. All Jeep and 4x4 enthusiasts are encouraged to join us for this fun event. "It will benefit a great group and we try to keep the donations local. "There is still time to register. Call Jeff at 814-594-3375 or Janine at 814-335-8962. "We are planning a bigger and better event this year and look forward to an even better turnout than last year," Mocik said.