Bike clubs play Santa at Eagle Valley Children’s Home
Appeal Staff Writer
They only look bad.
At least that’s what one caregiver at Eagle Valley Children’s Home said as more than 100 bikers from four independent clubs stormed the south Carson facility for disabled, carrying overflowing bags, boxes and arms full of gifts.
The tradition, which started last year when Vagos leader Jim “Beaver” contacted Donna Clarke, the recreation coordinator at the home, and asked what he could do.
“We did a toy run for a number of years,” he said. “Someone kind of dropped the ball along the way – last year we decided to pick it up again.
“This year we ran with it.”
Indeed, the home for an hour Sunday afternoon, was wall-to-wall leathers and mustaches and ‘do rags … and huge smiles.
As Beaver was dismounting his bike in the home’s parking lot, a Vagos underling, who arrived early to help deliver gifts inside, came running to greet the bikers -with nary a breath to spare he gasped that everyone needed to come inside “to see the smiles on their faces.”
Some 18 full-time residents of the home are afflicted with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. The age range is eight to 44. And the home is operating at capacity.
“We’re full and always busy,” she said. “Any time someone from the community reaches out and offers help – we take it.”
Clarke helped compile a “wish list” of gifts for the home’s residents and passed them on to the bikers two weeks ago – the rest, according to Gardnerville-based Boozefighters president “Bonz” was “just a little bit of hard work.”
“We had a lot of different items on our list,” he said. “After shave, electric razors – games …
“But this is something we take pride in being a part of. It’s about giving back to the community any way you can this year. And these guys – the people that live here – well, we’re just happy to be able to help.”
Beaver said the holidays are about helping the less-fortunate.
“It’s about coming together for people who need it the most,” he said. “Looking around, these guys didn’t get too many breaks. It just makes you feel so good to do something.”
Members of the Brotherhood and P.O.B.O.B. clubs joined the Boozefighters and Vagos for photos with the residents as well as a little fellowship with holiday-decorated cookies and cake.
“This really is quite something – the amount of time they spent and the number of them here today,” said Kathy Cornell, RN, who has been working at the home for almost a decade. “There are so many of them giving.
“Most of our residents don’t really talk – but look at their faces. They’re just so excited. This means the world to them.”
• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.