Barons Motorcycle Club proves stereotypes can be wrong - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Barons Motorcycle Club proves stereotypes can be wrong

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(07/26/12) - If a motorcycle club moved into your neighborhood, you might be upset. That's what happened in the Genesee County community of Gaines. But the Barons Motorcycle Club showed preconceived notions can be misleading.

In 1997, the Barons bought a former Citizens Bank building. There were some bad vibes at first.

"Yeah, but it's understandable. What little town wants a motorcycle club to buy up half the town?" said Scott Griffin, Barons Motorcycle Club treasurer.

But the Barons aren't like the stereotypical motorcycle club.

"We attended all the village meetings. We told the people why we were here, what our purpose was. We're a family organization," Griffin said.

The Barons began to transform the clubhouse.

"This place was pretty much a heap. We had to replace the roof and the floor. Most of the walls needed work," Griffin said.

Club members built a large addition, laid new sidewalk and began to win the hearts and minds of their neighbors.

"They give everything they have. They'd give you the shirt off their backs to help you," said Donna Archambault, Gaines Village president.

Peace Park sets just across the street from Baron headquarters. Through the years the club has contributed financially and with manpower to park improvements.

"Ever since we've been in this town, we've bought maple trees and helped with pavilion building," Griffin said.

"They've helped extremely with the memorial park that we're putting in now," Archambault said.

"Some families have horrible things happen to them. We try to step in with a benefit or whatever is needed," Griffin said.

The Barons are best known in town for organizing the annual Summerfest, which is this Saturday and Sunday. The event attracts thousands.

"It's the Barons that bring the village together," Archambault said.

The Barons Motorcycle Club Summerfest in Gaines starts this Saturday at 10 a.m. There are many family-related activities. Sunday is Motorcycle Mania where the streets will be filled with motorcycles. The steak dinner starts at 1 p.m.

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