Santa’s bikers?

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bikers’ gifts: The Tiger Riders Motorcycle Club donated dozens of toys to the Genieve Shelter on Saturday. Shelter executive director Val Livingston, far right, said the toys would help provide Christmas for children currently living in the organization’s facilities.

Motorcycle group gives toys to shelter

On Saturday, a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts swarmed into the parking lot of the Genieve Shelter’s offices on Holland Road.

However, the members of the Tiger Riders Motorcycle Club weren’t driving their typical vehicles. They came instead in pickup trucks and passenger cars.

Very likely, it was just too cold for an open-air ride on Saturday. But that wasn’t the only reason they had temporarily abandoned their hogs.

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After finding parking spaces, a couple of members piled into the back of one of the pickups and started handing down dozens of plastic bags full of board games, stuffed animals, dolls, basketballs, skateboards and more — in all, enough toys for more than 30 children ages 6 months to 17 years old to have a merry Christmas.

Clearly, they couldn’t have carried that much on their motorcycles.

“We’re all about benefiting the community and giving back,” said Greg Roberts, a member who does public relations for the group.

The nonprofit organization conducts fundraisers throughout the year. This year, they went on a shopping excursion for the Genieve Shelter.

“This is great,” said Genieve Shelter executive director Val Livingston. “Our kids will have a merry Christmas.”

Livingston said each of the shelter’s current families had been adopted through an angel tree project, but only one group had returned their chosen family’s gifts.

“We were kind of scared,” Livingston said.

Then, she got the call from Roberts.

The Genieve Shelter, a domestic abuse shelter, gives refuge to women and children who are escaping abusive relationships. Oftentimes, Livingston said, the first question young children have upon arriving at their shelter is “Will Santa Claus know how to find me when I’m here?”

In addition to children’s toys, the group also brought gifts for the mothers.

Martin Anderson, president of the motorcycle club, said most motorcycle clubs are doing good in the community — unlike how they are oftentimes portrayed in Hollywood films.

“It’s not always like that,” he said. “It’s totally different.”

For information on how to help the Genieve Shelter, call 925-0025.