Sunday, December 23, 2018

Little girl saved by bikers now fighting for her life

Kansas City, Missouri (December  23, 2018) — The biker bar regulars don’t know why the 6-year-old girl was running across U.S. 40 Highway in the dark, but they think she was running to them at the Tool Shed Lounge when a car hit her Friday night.

The bar at 40 Highway and Phelps Road in Kansas City had been her “safe place” just 10 days before — the first time they saw her out in the dark, dangerously walking along the busy four-lane road.

Patrons of the Tool Shed Lounge biker bar, left to right, “Hobbles” Craig, “Train” Jeremy, Rachel Fry and Matthew “Nuffin” Dains stand by the collection of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. 

The girl suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit Friday. She remains hospitalized. And Sunday, the biker friends she barely knows were collecting Christmas gifts for her while wondering — with some anger — why she was out in the dark again.

“She had to be a brave little girl,” Susan McCluer said. “Something was wrong.”

The girl’s identity has not been released. Police could provide no new information Sunday on her condition or about what happened after she was previously picked up from the bar. Spokespersons for the Missouri Department of Social Services were not available.

“We want some answers why she was out by herself again,” said bar patron Jeff Dunn.

Dunn’s daughter-in-law, Sierra Miller, saw the little girl out along the road on Dec. 11. She brought her into the bar and the bar called 911.

They gave her a soda, some chips and set her up playing one of the video game machines until police came. She was also very curious about the collection of wrapped gifts that members of the Biker Advocates group at the bar were collecting as a charity for some families in need this season.

“I think she felt safe,” Dunn said. He thinks that’s why she may have been trying to come back Friday night.

Biker Matthew “Nuffin” Dains was outside the bar and saw her get hit, he said. She was running against the light, going from south to north across the highway. The driver of the car that hit her stopped and Dains and others went to the girl to tend to her until the ambulance came.

Their hearts were breaking for her.

“We all have kids here,” said “Hobbles” Craig, whose eye patch over the right eye of his glasses had the letters B-A for Biker Advocates. “We’re devastated that these things can happen.”

The advocate group was already holding a collection of Christmas gifts to help four families in need, and now they and others are gathering gifts for this little girl.

One collection — of a large teddy bear and other stuffed animals — stacked outside in the sunlight against a construction cone near where she came to rest at the side of the road Friday night. A leftover piece of yellow police tape tied to the cone flapped in the wind Sunday.

Another collection of toys filled up a tabletop inside the bar.

They don’t know how she is doing in the hospital. But they hope someday they can deliver their gifts, said Rachel Fry.

“She was coming here for a reason,” Fry said. “We want her to know we wanted to be good to her.”

SOURCE: The Kansas City Star

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Motorcycle toy run helps local children

Brevard County, Florida (December 13, 2018) — Hundreds of revved motorcycle engines rumbled along U.S. 1 towards Titusville Sunday, Dec. 2 for the 2018 Space Coast Motorcycle Alliance’s David Lewis Memorial Toy Run.

The run began in the Merritt Island Square Mall parking lot located at 777 Merritt Island Causeway around 10 a.m. Riders then traveled, in small clusters, to Titusville with toy donations to be dropped off at the American Legion Post 1 located at 1281 U.S. 1.

Hundreds of motorcyclist showed up for the David Lewis Toy Run on Merritt Island 

This was the 36th year for the run, which raises toys and fund for local Brevard children. SCMA, a local motorcycle community organization, provides charitable activities and fundraisers for specific purposes such as helping the less fortunate, accident victims, or those will medical issues.

Robin Bailey, president of SCMA, was responsible for much of the toy runs organization, including its ending location at Post 1.

“We’re collecting toys for the run that stay here locally in Brevard County,” Mrs. Bailey said.

The toys collected will go to children in Brevard County this Christmas season in an effort to help families in need. Some of the local charities on the toy recipient list included C.I.T.A. Mission, Daily Bread, God’s Pantry and more. Mrs. Bailey also noted that some of the recipients of the donations are families of combat veterans.

The event was largest hosted by the AL Post 1, who volunteered their post's location after other venues in the county declined to participate. “Personally, my organization checked out 48 different locations and, for one reason or another we weren’t able to do this event there,” Mrs. Bailey said. “I did not think I was going to be able to pull this off.”

AL Post 1 volunteered their location for the festivities less than three weeks before the event.

The number of motorcycle riders was lower this year than in other toy runs. An estimated 500 riders attended this years event. Former SCMA president, Rick "Dawg" Venerable, recalled upwards of 3,000 bikers in years past.

"I miss being involved in it, being a part of it," Mr. Venerable said. "I'm glad it's still running and kids are still benefiting."

According to Mr. Venerable, the toy run was named in honor of a former founder of SCMA, David Lewis, who passed away shortly before the toy run.

"I felt it was right to have people to remember him for the man he was and that was a man who would give to anybody," Mr. Venerable said.

Mr. Venerable, who was injured when a drunk driver hit him while he was riding his motorcycle on Feb. 25, 2017, had to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona.

Members from local motorcycle clubs such as the Remnant Sons and the Indian River Brotherhood participated in the ride and donated toys for children along with hundreds of other motorcycle enthusiasts from other organizations around the county.

"They're a bunch of good people. They're not like the stereotypical biker," said Mr. Venerable. "These are people that love to ride and love to do for the community. As with me their hearts are with the children."

The AL provided food and entertainment complete with raffles, auctions and vendors. Live music was provided by local band County Road 2. DJ Doc Holliday provided additional music support.

Mike Danella, a retired Marine veteran, brought an assortment of small toys and candy to be donated. “I belong to a lot of rider organizations. If there’s a charity where it’s kids, the elderly or disabled, I’m a participant,” said Mr. Danella.

Christine and Steve Bizzuti opted to drive their Jeep to Titusville instead of riding a motorcycle this year. “We had to have somewhere to put all the toys,” Mr. Bizzuti said.

The couple has been participating in charity rides in past years. “We’re friends with one of the sponsors, Island Cremations. They do this every year and we join them,” said Mrs. Bizzuti.

Attendees filed in and out throughout the afternoon to drop off toys, sampling food and checking out the array of merchandise available from participating vendors. Drone footage providing the scope of the event was shot and is available on the SCMA Facebook page.

The AL Post 1managed to accommodate over 500 motorcycles at their location during the afternoon’s festivities.

SOURCE: Hometown News