Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bikers and Barbies

My other half is in a motorcycle club and around Christmas, there’s always a lot of charity going on. A few of weekends ago was their annual Toy Run which, this year, was to benefit Hillsides, a non-profit children’s foster care and family resource program in the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas of California.  Apparently they help 13,000 children (yes, that many)

I will admit that the day did not start brilliantly for me – we had to leave our house at 6:00 a.m. and the temperature was only 37f (17c).  On a motorbike that feels like -10, just so you know.  This year, I gave the bike a miss as I was designated as the 'toy truck driver.'  Thank goodness because by the time we were at our destination last year, I was absolutely bloody freezing and could hardly move.  Although it was nothing a nice warm Starbucks Crème Brulee Latte couldn’t fix, to be honest.  You might not think that’s particularly cold, but this is California, for goodness sake! 

The ride began at their clubhouse in Santa Clarita where scores and scores of bikers turned up with toys strapped to their bikes.  Some had small decorations on their bikes, some went a little further, like this man.  
A bit much?
I was left in charge of loading the truck.  Okay, let me re-phrase that.  My organizational skills were drafted to load the truck.  After watching people just throw the toys over the side and into a messy heap, which in no way would stay in the truck until we got to where we were delivering them, I began moving them around and packing nicely.  You don't want to be leaving a trail of toys down the freeway, do you?  Now I’ve had a lot of experience getting loads of stuff into a little space… obviously because every single time I come back from England my case is almost splitting at the seams with food, chocolate and Ribena, so if anyone could get all those toys in that truck it was me!!

And of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a Father Christmas.  Step up that man.... 
Green and white
Everything has to be just that little bit different, hence the green and white Father Christmas, which just so happen to be the colours of the motorcycle club.

So after a couple of hours collecting, we took the truck to the orphanage.  We get a great reception and the kiddies love it, especially when the truck turns up like this...

Of course, no charity event would be complete without a few celebrities thrown in, and this was no exception.  Riding with us were Robert Patrick [Terminator 2, Scorpion], Mike Beach and Emilio Rivera  [Sons of Anarchy].

After posing for all the obligatory photo opportunities, the toys were taken into the home.  This is what it looked like ...

Not a bad turn out.  It just goes to show all those big bad bikers are actually cuddly teddy bears deep down, but don't ever let them hear you say that!!

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