NAPLES — In a show of support, the Naples Board of Selectmen waived the $2,000 fee for the food vendor that will be part of a fundraiser for the Dempsey Center hosted by V-Twin Cruisers Motorcycle Club in September.
The motorcycle club will be using the parking lot of the Plummer Memorial Field for its daylong event being booked as a Bike Show.
That piece of land is town-owned. Therefore, it is public land that is subject to the $2,000 vendor’s fee that is addressed under the Street Vendor Ordinance.
Michael Soucie, the president of Vacationland V-Twin Cruisers Motorcycle Club, appeared before the Naples board during its regular meeting on Aug. 24. The club’s request was on the agenda.
Soucie talked a little bit about what his group does before asking if the $2,000 food vendor could be waived.
“We operate out of Naples here. We are a long standing, 35 years, MC [motorcycle club] that is nationwide. We have a chapter in Japan for our military soldiers over there,” he said.
He referred to the motorcycle club as “non-traditional,” which means it is non-confrontational and doesn’t require prospects. Many of the members are from the military or serve in law enforcement or for local fire and rescue departments, he said.
He said the club members are very involved in coordinating charity events and fund raising for those in need close to home.
“Everything we do in our Maine chapter, all the charity events, go to support Maine families,” he said.
The club started an event to raise money for breast cancer. It is called ‘Bikers for Boobies.’ They will be doing that bike run again this fall, in October.
“Last year was our first year raising money for Dempsey Center. We are shooting for the $10,000 goal this year,” he said. “What we decided to come up with is a motorcycle show. We did one earlier this year. It had a huge turnout.”
The upcoming Bike Show is scheduled to happen on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., he said.
Then, Soucie presented to the selectmen the drawback of having to pay a $2,000 food vendor fee while trying to fund raise for the Dempsey Center.
“We have a business, PB&ME, owned and operated by Billy Marshall, who agreed to come up and vend at the event and to put the proceeds toward the charity,” Soucie said.
However, after talking to the Naples Community Activities Director Peter Ceprano, Soucie learned there was a fee involved in order to have the food vendor.
“There is a long-standing $2,000 vendor permit in Naples. The reason being they didn’t want to take business from locals. And, we understand that,” Soucie said.
He said he reached out to many Naples-based restaurants to see if they could cater the event. None of them could.
“We draw a lot to the local businesses: whether it be buying gas, food, ice cream on the Causeway. We go to Annette’s for breakfast all the time,” he said.
“When we do an event like this we never know what the turnout is going to be,” he said, adding that $2,000 to get a vendor to offer food to people at the event is money that could be put toward charity.
“I am asking if you can do away with that,” Soucie said.
The board agreed with his viewpoint, voting unanimously to waive the $2,000 mobile vendor fee.
“I’m going to encourage all you guys to come out. It is going to be a great time. It’s family oriented,” Soucie said to the board after thanking them.
Source: The Bridgton News