Bubba the Love Sponge Bikes for Badges charity event

7:35 PM, Mar 20, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL - More than 1,500 motorcycles packed into Jim's Harley Davidson dealership in St. Petersburg Sunday morning for Bubba the Love Sponge's annual Bikes for Badges charity event and fundraiser.

More than 700 people pre-registered for the ride to benefit the families of three fallen St. Petersburg police officers. A police escort included dozens of motorcycle officers and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz's police SUV.

Gallery: Bikes for Badges

The ride around the city of St. Petersburg was sprinkled with spectators who stopped to wave. Some saluted the officers and there were even some who made signs.

The ride ended back at Jim's Harley Davidson, where there were food and drinks, vendors, a bikini show and several other fundraisers taking place.

Raised money estimates have not been totaled yet.

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The shooting deaths of three St. Petersburg Police officers this year and the recent death of several other law enforcement officers in the Tampa Bay area has created a need more than ever to help the families and widows they have left behind.

For the third year in the row, radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge is hosting Bubba's Bikes for Badges through the Bubba the Love Sponge Foundation. The charity motorcycle ride is taking place today at 9am at Jim's Harley-Davidson in St. Petersburg. Money raised from the event will go the families of the fallen police officers.

There will also be a silent auction, poker crawl with a $2,500 prize, a 50/50 drawing, bike show and bikini bike wash. Registration is $15 per person and $20 the day of the event. Register online at btlsfoundation.org.

Onsite registration for riders and vehicles will open at 8:00 am, with "kickstands up" at 10 am.

"Each year, this event helps us to support the families of those who risk their lives protecting our communities," said Bubba. Motorcycle enthusiasts, radio listeners, members of the "Bubba Army" and the entire community made the 2009 and 2010 Bubba's Bikes for Badges events huge successes.

This year, funds will be designated for the families of three local police officers recently killed in the line of duty: Sgt. Thomas Baitinger, Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, and Officer David Crawford. Since 2008, the Bubba the Love SpongeĀ® Foundation has raised and distributed more than $160,000 to families of fallen Florida law enforcement officers.

10 News is a media sponsor of the event.

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