Motorcyclists ride for needy children

Sharkey's famous hospitality, free entertainment and a chance to help needy children Saturday drew hundreds of Harley riders to Gardnerville's only casino.

The annual toy run gathered over 500 toys and another $500 in raffle proceeds for Project Santa Claus, which provides gifts for needy children in the Minden-Gardnerville area, according to toy run organizers Mashelle and Butch Begovich, children of the original Sharkey.

The toy run began in Carson City at Carson-Tahoe Harley Davidson. Kim Tun, spokeswoman for the cycle store, said over 100 bikers were signed up for the toy run.

"The Carson City and Douglas County sheriff's departments were our heroes," Mashelle said. "They escorted the riders so they could all come down the valley in one big swoop."

Live music by Last Change from Reno, the raffle and food brought out even more cyclists who had not made the run. Butch's count of cycles in the parking lots tallied 271 bikes.

Some riders came from as far as Sacramento, Folsom and Fresno, Mashelle said, drawn by word of mouth by riders from last year.

"Butch and I work all year on this, just to have a lot of fun and help the community," she said.

Back at Carson-Tahoe Harley Davidson, Tun said the store ran its annual Barbie Auction throughout the day. She said toymaker Mattel has created a special edition Barbie doll that can only be purchased from Harley dealerships or Toys R Us.

The Harley Barbie for 2000 is the third edition, Tun said, and this year a Harley Ken doll has been added.

About 10 of the dolls were auctioned Saturday to benefit the Carson-Tahoe Harley Owners Group (HOG), the company-sponsored motorcycle club, she said.

Part of the proceeds go to support owners group functions, while the rest is donated to local causes. The local club has used the funds to support the Literacy Coalition, she said.


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