Motorcycle riders honor Sgt. Michael Wilson

Sara Belsole

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Motorcycle riders honor Sgt. Michael Wilson

CREATED Aug. 25, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 26, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Hundreds of motorcyclists revved up their engines and their hearts in honor of fallen Charlotte County deputy Sgt. Michael Wilson.

"We really felt it was the most important thing for us to give back and do something for his family personally, Web Benninghoven, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gulf Coast Motorcycles.

About 300 riders left Gulf Coast Motorcycles on Tamiami Trial Sunday morning and rode to Charlotte County, with blue ribbons tied to their bikes in honor of Sgt. Wilson.

"We have got tremendous support from the law enforcement community that rides, people who are coming in cars, people who say they're going to be on the route," Benninghoven said.
The Gulf Coast chapter of The Defenders, a national law enforcement motorcycle club, showed up in numbers for the ride.
"It's fantastic because for us it shows, not only us but everyone else comes out and appreciates the service this person obviously did," Chapter President Kelvin Thompkins said.
While The Defenders hit the road for fallen officers all the time, the ride was a first for rider Lynda Erickson.
"It's a great event, a chance for bikers to show we can about our community and we care about the community," Erickson said.
Erickson and five friends came down from North Port for the ride.
"Even just thinking about it, I get goose bumps. To be apart of a group of so many diverse people supporting one family and one cause, it's really great," Erickson said.
Riders donated about $4,500 for Sgt. Wilson's family. They presented the check to Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell after the ride.
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