Bikers go hog wild

Published 7:23 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
The red lights on the Atmore police cruisers could have possibly been mistaken for Rudolph's red nose this weekend, as they escorted more than 40 motorcycles loaded with lots of toys and goodies to several families in Atmore and the surrounding area.
More than 50 people gathered for the 5th annual L. A. Bikers Toys for Tots drive Saturday.
The perfect formation of the bikers and their motorcycles, resembling Santa and his reindeer, made their way to Bratt, Atmore and Perdido in their annual drive to spread Christmas cheer to local families and children.
"We are helping seven families this year," Jody Jeter, Toys for Tots organizer said. "We have done this for the last couple of years and basically get our families through word of mouth. People let us know who needs the extra help."
L.A. Bikers (Lower Alabama) organized in the year 2000 after a group of friends got interested in motorcycles and started riding together. The bikers club meets the first Thursday of the month at David's Catfish for supper and to discuss any issues that need the organizations attention.
"If the weather is good we go out for a ride" member, Ann Powell said. "We haven't been able to do a lot since the hurricanes. But we hope to get back on track and get busy."
The bikers also collect soda can tabs to be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Pensacola and Mobile.
"We usually collect two to three garbage can containers full of tabs a year," Powell said.
Members of L. A. Bikers originally traveled to Mobile to participate in Toys for Tot drive, but decided to bring the idea home to help local families instead.
The bikers hold fundraisers such as an auction and yard sale to raise money for the toy drive as well as donations. The fee charged to participating bikers of the toy drive is used to assist with the toy purchases also.
"This year we divided the money evenly between the seven families," Powell said. "A biker member then shops for a specific family or person. This year the parent's made it easier for us by providing us with a wish list for the children."
The leather-clad bikers braved the cold to carry gift bags, boxes and bicycles to the chosen families. Among the group of motorcyclists were bikers from as far as Brewton, Pace, Milton and Pensacola.
"I have just recently joined the group," member Terrill Iutzi said. "This was my first Toy for Tots ride and I thought it went real well. I thoroughly enjoyed it."
Pee Wee Powell a third generation biker in the club also participated in Saturdays ride.
"I think we had a really good turn out," Powell said. "I just love it. My daughter and grandson ride with us, giving me three generations of riders counting myself. We get a lot of help on this and it is just wonderful."

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