The Masonic Village and Widow’s Sons Masonic Riders Association hosted the annual Blessing of the Bikes event outside the main building of the Masonic Village Community on Sunday, April 24.
Burlington Township Mayor Pete Green delivered a proclamation before Bill Wentzien, a village resident, WWII veteran and former rider, led the parade of motorcycles around the community.
TWB Builders, a general contractor specializing in commercial projects, helped sponsor the event along with several other vendors. Proceeds from donations were given to the Masonic Charity Foundation, which supports seniors living at Masonic Village at Burlington.
The Blessing of the Bikes event, which was started in New York City 23 years ago, has now grown to be an annual tradition all over the United States. Each year, hundreds of motorcycle riders are blessed by a Priest or Chaplain in the hope that it will bring safety for the coming season.
Many towns hold these annual ceremonies at the start of spring, when the biking season traditionally begins. For many riders, getting their bikes blessed each year before the riding season is the most important ritual. It’s considered a safeguard bikers do to ensure they’re protected while on the road. The Masonic Village has hosted the event for the last 15 years in Burlington. Many of the riders from the clubs participating are Masons, police officers, firefighters and veterans from all over the region.
“Last year, because of the pandemic, we did not do the blessing of the bikes at Masonic Village,” Reverend Ron Anastase explained. “I found out later that one of our regular attendees was in a cycle accident. He already told me he is coming. He needs that blessing.”
“Our life plan community serves everyone, but many Mason families express interest in having their loved ones reside here because our services parallel the Masonic mission — which is to provide the highest quality of life and true caring to all,” added Anda Durso, Executive Director at Masonic Village, who also emceed Sunday’s event.
“We are honored to host this annual event that brings so many of our neighbors together each year.”
Visit www.njmasonic.org for more information on the Masonic Village.