Let’s face it: we as humans have mastered the destructible art of stereotyping people. If someone isn’t a carbon copy of ourselves, we label that person an unproductive, unworthy outcast. Whether an individual is white or black, Protestant or Catholic, in this club or that club, we can find a petty reason to avoid eye contact with that person in the grocery store and tell our children to never grow up and become such a radical.
One of those stereotyped groups of people, the one most people dramatically describe as the folks you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley, is quickly judged by its outer appearance. Being covered in piercings and inked in tattoos somehow (incorrectly) means these people are naturally consumed with rebellion, too. They travel in a large pack while sporting black leather and revving up bikes, so they must be up to no good, right? Well, maybe if people would take the time to shake a motorcycle club members hand and simply ask about one of their bike rides, those individuals who continuously stereotype everyone might realize how wrong they are.
On Saturday, November 19, members of the Iron Cross MC, Guardians Riding Club, the D.A.D. (Defending America’s Defenders), and the Troup County Motorcycle Coalition gathered at 2516 Upper Big Springs Road, at the LaGrange Chapter of the Iron Cross Motorcycle Club, to host this year’s Christmas Toy Run. After leaving Iron Cross’ clubhouse, motorcyclist then rode to the Guardians’ clubhouse at 107 Lovelace Road in West Point where toys were gathered, raffles were held, and music and food were provided.
At the end of the afternoon, the motorcyclists had collected a trailer load of toys, raised $126 from the 50/50 raffle, and had collected an additional $268 from another round of raffles. The money from the raffles, along with additional toy donations, will be distributed to veterans’ children who are in need this Christmas. This year, a large portion of the donations, along with a prized turkey, will be presented to a specific veteran and his family who recently lost their house and all of their possessions to a fire.
Nearly 10 months out of the year, these motorcyclists are continuously participating in charitable runs. Whether they are riding in the name of hurricane victims, sick children, or veterans, they recognize and respect how important other people are – even when those people don’t look like them. Tattoos or not, black leather or not, these men and women honor and support those in their community who come from all walks of life.
So, next time you run into a motorcyclist (even if you’re in a dark alley), shake that person’s hand and find out how you can help support their outreach.
Special thanks goes to the Mike Patton business for its generous donation, and a special recognition goes to Iron Cross Motorcycle Club, the Guardians Riding Club, D.A.D., and the Troup County Motorcycle Coalition for sponsoring this year’s successful Christmas Toy Run.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer