Spirit of giving

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Claus gives two children some candy during the LA Bikers Toys for Kidz ride Saturday. Fourteen families were assisted during the 10th annual event.|Photo by Becky Ganey

Putting smiles on the faces of children was the main goal of a group of motorcyclists Saturday. That goal was met when 14 families were treated to holiday gifts courtesy of LA Bikers.

Jody Jeter, one of the organizers for this year’s ride, said they made two stops to deliver gifts purchased by members of the organization.

“We made the ride with two stops in this year’s event,” Jeter said. “We made our first stop at Unity Baptist Church where six families met us to receive the gifts. At Atmore City Hall, eight families met with us for their holiday gifts.”

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With each stop, members of the LA Bikers granted wishes of children who may not have had those wishes granted by another source.

“We get a wish list from each child we serve,” Jeter said. “We do as much as we can to get what they have on their wish list.”

Funding from a variety of sources makes the program possible each year, Jeter said.

“We raised money to be able to do this by having an auction this year,” Jeter said. “We also receive donations from people that helps make this possible.”

In year’s past, the group has held a variety of fundraisers including yard sales. Jeter said the auction was successful this year and may also become an annual event for the group.

“We had a yard sale last year, but decided to do an auction this year,” Jeter said. “We did that a couple of months ago. It was a good auction and we may plan to do that again as a fundraiser for next year’s ride.”

The Toys for Kidz ride finished its first decade with the 2010 ride, Jeter said.

“I’ve been along for every ride,” Jeter said. “This was our 10th annual ride. It was good for every one.”

The ride began with about 70 bikes and riders at David’s Catfish House, Jeter said.

“This year our ride started at David’s Catfish House and our first stop was at Unity Church,” Jeter said. “Our second stop was at Atmore City Hall and we ended the ride at Pee Wee Construction.”

The ride ended with a fun event for those involved in the group’s ride.

“We had a nice lunch and even some entertainment at the end of the ride,” Jeter said. “We all had fun. It was a good day for all of us.”

The group serves dozens of children each year with their Toys for Kidz program, Jeter said.

“Each year we average about 30 children on our list,” Jeter said. “It varies a little from year to year depending on the needs of families.”

The list of those served through the program usually comes from area schools, Jeter said.

“Most of the time we go through the schools to find out who could benefit from the ride,” Jeter said. “Those people see those children every day and know more about the families and what they need.”

Jeter said the group is happy to help when families are searching for answers to gifts for their children during the holidays.

“This is just something we like to do,” Jeter said. “It’s good for everyone – the children and for us.”