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Santa's Helpers

by Janet Nesler

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Santa's helpers wore leather and tattoos as they rang bells for The Salvation Army on Saturday Nov 28 and Saturday December 7. This is the sixth year the combined motorcycle clubs have been at various locations ringing bells for charity. This year the total raised was $10,413.60. The largest amount raised in any of the last five years.

As a result of past accomplishments in raising money for the Salvation Army at Christmas, including the annual Toy Run. The area bikers are a feature in the Ohio Calendar section of the
December issue of OHIO MAGAZINE.

The Scioto County bikers united once again this year on December 13th for their annual toy run which is over and above the amount received in bell ringing. $885.00 in toys and 838.00 in big
wheels and bicycles were donated for the toy run. While loading toys for the parade at The Portsmouth Motorcycle Club on Front Street, a raffle was held among the bikers to raise a little
extra money. Cheryl Calver, dressed as Santa's elf, sold raffle tickets on a 50/50 money pot with half going to the Salvation Army fund.

Led by a police escort the roaring parade of 74 bikers trailed a Portsmouth fire truck loaded with over 70 big wheels and 5 pickªup trucks loaded with toys. After unloading at The Salvation Army at 1001 Ninth the bikers were treated to chili and hot chocolate by volunteers.

Looking at the vast amount of toys and Christmas items and overcome by the moment, Salvation Army's Captain John Fox said, "You have to understand that, coming from a big city, we don't have this in big cities. We have biker's, but not biker's who care. You really show what you think of your community by working. By working together we can make Christmas brighter."

"We only have been able to give one toy to each child," Fox went on to say, "But what you have done will make it possible to put two and three toys in each bag. I want to tell you that I have never seen a community so caring and I'm talking about the bikers right now. I say that from the bottom of my heart, and if my wife were here she would say it too. We want to thank you and words cannot express it good enough and although we do have plaques for you, plaques cannot express it. We want to thank you very much for your help in our community. God bless you all. You will have a good Christmas because you have given to someone else who didn't have."

After the words by Captain Fox, the bikers passed the hat one more time and collected another $533.00.

Area Clubs taking part are Brothers of The Wheel, Portsmouth Motorcycle Club, Sons of Scioto, Friends in The Wind and Southern Ohio Road Riders, True Colors, Jokers, Fire Walkers, and the Guardians.



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