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Biker Claus: Groups exchange sleighs for motorcycles to bring gifts to needy children
By Andy Pawlinski, Staff Writer
McKINNEY -- Conventional wisdom says Santa Claus rides a sleigh and leaves presents on Christmas Eve.
However, this Fourth of July, Santa will trade in his sleigh for a 2009 Harley Davidson Low Rider with a rubber-mounted twin-cam engine with 3,000 rpms of torque and chrome staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers.
The Dirty Bastards Motorcycle Club (DBMC), Bikers Against Road Rage (BARR) and the Guardians of Grace (GOG), the McKinney branch of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, are hosting the first-ever "Christmas in July." The clubs are collecting toys and goods for patients at a Plano children's hospital.
Collection boxes will be located at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, 3190 South Central Expressway, Suite 570, until July 4th. Collection boxes will also be placed at the parade, allowing for donations at the celebration.
The hospital is looking at different items based on age groups; the two groups with the greatest need are toddlers/infants and teenagers. For infants and toddlers, they are asking for children's books, baby toys, exersaucers, bumbo seats and plastic rattles. For teenagers, donations of art kits, clothing mirrors, bath products, journals and baseball caps would be appreciated.
Only new stuffed animals will be accepted due to infection control policies. Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target and Toys"R"Us will also be accepted.
The DBMC got the idea for the event from one of the member's wives who made donations to hospitals' wish lists on a regular basis. She wanted to get the DBMC involved -- and the idea evolved into "Christmas in July."
Both groups will take part in McKinney's Hometown Fourth of July Parade, and immediately after the parade, the riders will pick up the donations from Fuzzy's Taco Shop and deliver them to the hospital in Plano.
"We are big on giving back to those who can't give back themselves," Shane LeClair, member of the DBMC, said.
LeClair said he and the DBMC hope to continue the Christmas tradition every summer.
"We would love to turn it into an annual event," LeClair said. "We would love to see it grow and have people participate."
"Christmas in July" allows the DBMC, BARR and the GOG to celebrate freedom through one big, caring gesture.
"The event is important because we are nothing if we aren't a community," GOG member Kirk Stephans said. "Freedom isn't free; we should lift each other up, both spiritually and physically. We want to foster community spirit through giving love."