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Biker group donates to animal rescue shelters in honor of one of their own

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Chosen Crue

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Don't judge a book by its cover.

It's an age old adage parents pass down to their kids at some point in their lives.

A message to not judge someone before you get to know them.

Chosen Crue lives by that motto.

"Sometimes bikers get kind of a bad image and we like to shine a better image on it sometimes," Chosen Crue president Mark Eisenhauer said.

The organization is made up of bikers who broke off from their original crew to start fresh under their own ideals.

Part of their new journey is helping the community any way they can.

"Building a house for Habitat for Humanity. We used to do roadside cleanup. We gave away 40 Thanksgiving dinners at one our local churches," Eisenhauer said.

The latest act of charity by the group was more monetary.

Chosen Crue raised close to $10,000 in donations to split between Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary and CARE for PETS.

Both of these animal rescue services were lost for words when they were selected to receive this money.

"I don't have words for it. We're a smaller organization that gets smaller incrimate donations all serving Winnebago County. This is huge for us," CARE for Pets executive director Stephanie Hicks said.

"It's just fantastic. We got so many animals that we're taking care of. Since COVID, we taken in over 1700 animals and helped them in the past year and a half. This is going to go a long way to help them," Noah's Ark office manager Marsha Brice said.

The donations are special on their own, but there's more meaning behind a couple of checks.

Noah's Ark and CARE for PETS were chosen to receive this money to honor Wendy Hacker.

Wendy, an avid animal lover, passed away last year from COVID-19.

Her husband Mike is the vice president of Chosen Crue and he was happy to be able to honor her in some way while also giving back to the community.

She's fantastic. She loved animals. I spent 29 years with her," Hacker said.

"She's still with me today."

If you know of any other people or groups making a positive impact in our community, you can fill out a nomination form here or you can reach out to

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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