Griffin & Jake Prince’s family (Photo: Robert Sutherland)
You couldn’t find a more gentle, giving crowd anywhere in Georgia than the hundreds of motorcyclists who turned out to support the family who tragically lost their two little boys in a boat collision in July on Lake Lanier.
We gathered together to encourage the families of Griffin and Jake Prince and to raise money to help pay the bills incurred in this heart-wrenching disaster.
Lt. Doug Boyle of the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office inspired dozens of volunteers and sheriffs from four neighboring counties — Hall, Lumpkin and Forsyth — to participate in the 70-mile charity bike ride that circled Lake Lanier.
Each motorcycle contributed $40 to the Griffin and Jake Prince Memorial Fund in order to take part in the police-escorted ride.
Those of us who rode our bikes were impressed by the hundreds of cars that respectfully pulled over to the shoulder on country roads, busy highways and freeways.
Together, we were mourning the lost and supporting those left behind. And there was healing.
Through tears the families of Griffin and Jake expressed how they could not have made it through their ordeal without the help of their community. Sometimes the most profound messages are expressed emotionally … not through well-rehearsed speeches. We all knew what they meant and we were there to express our love and commitment to them in their time of need. As we would hope for our own families, should something as horrible as this strike close to our own homes.
I rode with one of my two beloved daughters, Esther Joy Barton. Enjoying the day with her, remembering the Prince boys, made us cherish our time together even more than usual.
We want to express our thanks to all who made staging the event appear to be so effortless at City Hall in Dahlonega … for the dozens of law enforcement officers who blocked off intersections to keep the riders safe … and for everyone who made our arrival in Dawsonville so enjoyable.
Special thanks go to the folks at the Dawsonville Pool Room for the delicious burgers, hot dogs, fries and slaw — and for donating $5 for each plate of food served.
May God continue to comfort the families of Griffin and Jake Prince.
Click on the pictures below for an expanded view.
Today was a somber day – but uplifting in seeing such tremendous support in the wake of tragedy with the Prince Family. With so many bikes in the Ride plus Law Enforcement and Fire department it was quite a turn out. Almost every intersection was blocked for the entire 72 mile route – a huge show of support by the 4 Sheriff’s Offices from the counties involved in the escort – Lumpkin, Hall, Dawson, Forsyth and Gwinnett PD plus the Core of Engineers at Lake Lanier.
The event was a great success with a lot of money raised. The Princes were extremely appreciative of everyone’s efforts and the great turn out. Other members of the family also expressed their heartfelt thanks as well.
It was a great day for a ride. No issues. All riders arrived safely. Good weather. Thanks to all who participated and the community for their support. It felt good to be part of such an honorable event.