In what has become an annual tradition, Chicago’s Greek American Motorcycle Association, or GAMA, opened the summer riding season with their annual blessing of the motorcycles, and an inaugural 120 mile ride throughout the region. Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos attended the event and blessed the bikes, the bikers and their families.
“Why not?” said Bishop Demetrios, when asked why he participates in the annual bike blessing? “We bless cars, we bless new homes and businesses, schools— just to mention a few. This group of faithful deserve the blessing of our Church just like anyone else who asks for it. Christ transcends all boundaries and makes himself accessible to anyone seeking Him.”
The bike blessing took place following Divine Liturgy at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Homer Glen, Illinois, whose pastor, Fr. Sam Dimitriou, serves as GAMA’s spiritual father and is an active member.
Founded in the mid 1990s by a handful of cousins and close friends and incorporated into a non-profit philanthropic organization in 2009, GAMA proves that big bad motorcycle riders can also have a big heart.
The organization meets and rides regularly for fun, but also to raise funds and awareness for various children’s charities— including this year’s beneficiary, the Fanari Camp program of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. A check was presented to the Bishop to fund two scholarships for campers.
GAMA is also a fixture— and the highlight of Chicago’s annual Greek Independence Day Parade, revving up their bikes for a cheering crowd. Members rank from throughout the Chicagoland area, including from Indiana and Wisconsin.