Archive | Reflections

2020 Bike Show Benefiting The Key Youth Center

Having been in business for 15 years most of you know by now that giving back to our community is important to Chariots of Fire Customs LLC.  We have been listening to Steve Werkmeister for the past three to five years talk about his wife, Shiloh, and her project creating a safe place for the homeless youth of Lincoln County.  Well they have made the dream come to fruition.  Shiloh her partners, Cheri Winchester and Kristi Gregory, have created The Key Youth Center.  This was an easy pick for this year’s fundraiser as we want The Key Youth Center to be successful moving forward.

The Key Youth Center is “community-driven, community-funded and community-managed project established to serve homeless youth in Lincoln County” which includes all four school districts.  As their brochure points out, The Key Youth Center recognizes that homeless youth face numerous issues because of their age and lack of safe housing, including:  too young to obtain rental house; without job experience or personal identification with a stable address, they struggle to gain or improve upon their employment; they have little to no access to health care, metal health services, legal support, or social services; often their education is interrupted or curtailed.  

The Key Youth Center is designed to provide safe shelter and support services for all the above mentioned areas to help youth achieve their personal goals and make a positive transition into young adulthood.  For more specifics on resident requirements, services provided and how you can contribute, please go to  As mentioned above, they are a community funded organization  and have several donation partnerships set up.  You can also call 636-295-1974 for more information.

June 6th was beautiful this year!  Social distancing was practiced since we were still in the first phase of opening up the economy following the COVID-19 shut-down.  By social distance I mean we only let a specific number of folks into the shop at a time and encouraged everyone to wash their hands often!  This year was one of our biggest years yet with close to 40 beautiful motorcycles entering the show.  James McCloud created some extra fancy Best of Show and Best Engine trophies, Catfish Willie provided music, Taormina’s provided food and drink, Pawn Bucks provided the gun we raffled off and Bikers Against Bullies provided help with registration and raffles.  We had additional vendors this year so we had them set up in the grass behind the shop.  A special thanks to all those that entered the motorcycle show.  I hope all those that attended this event had as much fun as we did!

Peace Out, Reine

2019 Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition

Rosie was assigned to pick out this year’s fundraiser.  She did a terrific job!  After reading the following statistics, you’ll agree.  Currently, as I am typing this, there are over 14,500 children in Missouri foster care.  Over 4,500 are in foster care in the seven county area that Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition serve (St. Louis City; St. Louis County; St. Charles; Lincoln; Warren; Jefferson; and Franklin Counties).  Ten years ago there were 9,000 children in foster care across Missouri, a 42% increase in the last ten years.  The opioid epidemic is the primary reason.  According to the CDC, approximately 150 people die daily nationwide from opioids.  Children stay in care longer because of relapse.  Since 2007, there has been a 400-500% increase in babies addicted to opioids. 

Kyle, with Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition stated that he wanted people to know the following:  we often hear in the news that there is a shortage of foster parents.  Kyle stated that is not necessarily the case.  Many good people come forward to become foster parents.  The problem was that 60% quit after the first year and more drop the second year.  The good news is that in 2017 The Jones Family Program was started and they have a 95% retention rate after only two years! 

I am very pleased with Rosie for finding such a worthy fundraiser for this year.  Another important statistic is that 95% of the funds go to the children.  On June 1st the weather was wonderful; Midlife Crisis entertained us; Taormina’s fed us; Pawn Bucks donated the gun to raffle; Don Nolen came up with another cool “Best of Paint” trophy; Jan & Sparky put together a hip “Best of Show” trophy; and those that attended were more than generous.  A special thank you to:   Oggie for helping with set up and tear down; Cindy for helping with registration; and Tammy for helping sell the 50/50 tickets.  And, as always, thank you to all of you who attended and made the day the success that it was! 

Peace Out,  Reine

2018 End Alzheimer’s, by Reine J. Knobbe

First of all I would like to apologize for not writing this article for a year.  So reflections is a very good way to look at it.  Kind of ironic that I have to work on pulling up memories from a past event with the fundraiser being Alzheimer’s Association, don’t you think?

When searching for a fundraiser each year, we first think about the people around us and what is having an impact on people’s lives.  There is a couple in the Chariots circle that is experiencing and living with Alzheimer’s.  It has also impacted my life as I watched my grandmother go from driving me to church (a little too fast/I know where I get my lead foot from!), to going to a nursing home.  It wasn’t easy.  Back then it wasn’t uncommon to “tie” up residents that wandered off.  Thank God there have been great advances made.  There is still work to be done which is why we chose Alzheimer’s Association.  The second thing we ask is how much money actually goes to research and community outreach?   The Alzheimer’s Association national organization meets or exceeds relevant watchdog standards in its allocation of donor dollars. Great fit for our fundraising efforts!

If memory serves me correctly, Catfish Willie entertained us.  I do remember setting up the silent auction tables outside in front of the garage door; pulling them in because it started to drizzle; then putting them out; then pulling them back in!  The rain held off the rest of the day, however attendance was down slightly because of it.  Don Nolen of Extreme Rides painted up a unique “Best of Paint” trophy.  Overall it was a wonderful day as we were able to raise funds for a good cause as everyone that did show up was very generous!  We are so very blessed with very giving customers!  Special thanks to our staff and terrific volunteers.

2017 Special Olympics

We chose Special Olympics again this year for the same reasons we did a fundraiser two years ago.
As an occupational therapist I lean towards organizations that assist individuals with lifelong disabilities and because a high percentage of money donated goes directly to the Special Olympics programs. 
As I have mentioned in the past, I enjoy hearing my students talk about how much fun that have preparing for (oh, yes, their “coaches”, classroom teachers, have them practicing before the Olympics) and attending the Olympics.  The students enjoy showing off their ribbons to everyone in the school when they come back to school!


Thank you to all my volunteers who helped make this another successful year.  Mid Life Crisis donated their time and talent to keep the music going.  We had plenty of donated items to raffle and auction off and are always so appreciative of all donations!  Looking forward to next year’s event. 

2016 Mercy Women’s Center


Our fundraiser this year for Mercy Women’s Center here in Troy, MO. They offer free counseling for women ages 13 and over for the Lincoln County region. Mercy Women’s Center provides the extra TLC women need to be the best versions of themselves. I was inspired to donate to this center by a caring friend that volunteers her time there.

The weather was beautiful with blue skies and sunshine. The rumble of bikes coming and going all day added to the party atmosphere. We were fortunate that Full House was able to switch to Sunday and they really rocked the crowd! I have had multiple folks tell me they enjoyed the music AND the food. Brian and Sandy with Get U Sum Food kept the huge crowd happy. Thank you to everyone that came by to enjoy the day and for your generosity with donations to all our raffles, silent auction and 50/50. Oh, and also to the live auction. It was my first attempt at a live auction and I must say it was lots of fun! Anyone that knows me can imagine my enthusiasm. Think I’ll do that again at our next event.

Extra special thank you goes to Don Nolen of Extreme Rides for creating the marvelous custom best paint trophy and James McCloud of Pop’s Garage for his best of show masterpiece. Both these gentlemen came through for me with terrific one-of-a-kind trophies in very little time! To all my wonderful volunteers:  You are loved and appreciated!

2015 | Special Olympics

As I reflect over the past ten years of being in business, I am content and happy to look back over all of the different organizations we have been able to donate to.  As an occupational therapist, I lean towards organizations that assist individuals with lifelong disabilities.  I wanted to go back to that this year so chose the Special Olympics as this year’s fundraiser.  For more information you can visit their website  Working in the schools with our youth that have special needs, I always enjoy hearing them talk about their Special Olympics experiences and coming back to school with ribbons and big smiles!  The joy captured on photos is wonderful to see.  It is often experiences that shape us.  What better way to boost self-confidence and enjoyment in life than to experience personal success as an athlete.

Thank you to everyone that made the day a success.  It was extra joyful for me personally to see so many Chariots customers come to celebrate with us.  Comin’ Up Empty kept the mood joyful with their music, those that reserved a bottle or two of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select enjoyed a taste of their much anticipated whiskey, Jack Daniels swag was handed out and silent auction and raffle items helped raise money.  We were blessed with beautiful riding weather, so many folks made us a special stop on their journey and trophies were handed out a tad early so those staying all day could get a nice ride in before sunset!  It has been a rainy year in Lincoln County so the dry day was truly a blessing.  Thanks again for making the day special!

You can see photos from the celebration and lots of other events in our Photo Gallery.

For more information about Special Olympics:

2014 | Camp Hope

20141025_104655We wanted to do something for our veterans this year. So while Jan and I were discussing it in front of one of our friends and volunteer, Gary Jamison, he suggested we raise funds for Camp Hope. This facility is located in Farmington, Missouri. You can visit their website at to see all the wonderful things they offer. The Big Easy Band set up in the garage due to the threat of rain. And boy did it rain! The crowd was WAY down this year with about 50 or so people showing up and only two motorcycles entering the show. Several vendors set up despite the rain. The small crowd became a garage party and the Big Easy entertained us all. We still managed to raise a decent amount of money as those who came participated in the silent auction and donated generously. Money raised during our fall festival was added to the pot raising even more money for Camp Hope. Thank you to all of you that participated and donated to a wonderful facility.


2013 | American Diabetes Association

Bike Show 2013 022American Diabetes Association was Jan’s pick for the 2013 fundraiser. His dad had adult onset diabetes and we have others in our life with diabetes. With it being our first motorcycle show at our new location in Troy, I wanted to try something different, give the crowd something to do. So I rented a dunking booth. While it was fun, I can’t say that it was a big hit. The spot showers on and off over the day didn’t help. The Chariots of Fire staff took turns in the booth (Jan managed to avoid the booth since his turn was during a spot shower). The band Recoil entertained the crowd and managed to keep their equipment dry. The sun came out enough that the turnout was good. Thank you to everyone for coming out and enjoying the day with us.


2012 | American Heart Association

We just found out this year that several close friends of ours just happen to have the same rare heart condition making this year’s fundraiser easy to choose The American Heart Association.  There are many individuals with varying heart conditions, including my father and our own Mr. Jim Childers, so we were happy to donate proceeds to such a worthy cause.  Recoil, a young and very talented band out of Union Missouri really rocked!  I had many individuals comment on how good they sounded, playing classic rock no less.  We raffled off several guns this year.  As always, we had the support of our local biking community to make it a fun day.  Thanks everyone!


2011 | St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

It was Jim, our mechanic’s turn to pick the fundraiser this year. Jim did some research and chose St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as it is one of the few organizations who apply a very large percentage of monies raised directly to research. Not to mention all the important work they do to help individual children going through difficult medical problems. My son-in-law, Clayton, suggested the band. The Follow is an up and coming Christian rock band whose music you have probably heard on the radio. They were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule to play for us. By now I’ve learned to be pretty laid back about having enough volunteers to help sell raffles and assist with registration. Folks just step up and ask what they can do to help. We are so very blessed!