TAMPA — Hundreds of first-responders roared down local roadways this weekend during the annual rally of the Defenders Motorcycle Club.
More than 600 police officers, firefighters, EMTs and military personnel from across the country came together at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of their club.
Since it was founded in Naples in 2004, the Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club has grown to include more than 60 chapters throughout the United States. The chapters each participate in charitable events and help raise money for non-profit organizations.
Every year hundreds of Defenders come together in a different city to discuss club business and enjoy brotherhood activities, said Harald Wolf, vice president of the Gulf Coast chapter.
This year’s rally — which began Wednesday and ends today — included board meetings, photo sessions, a dance, a pool party, a tattoo contest and more. On Saturday the riders made their way to Raymond James Stadium for photos in front of the Buccaneers pirate ship. Later in the evening they planned to take a scenic, three-hour motorcycle ride across the bay area’s bridges.