Saturday, December 15, 2012
I’ve just attended what was one of the most impressive turnouts for a toy ride I've ever witnessed. A local MC, the Outback Riders have been hosting the ride for 20 years, and each year it keeps getting larger. I ‘m not sure what the official count is this year yet, but I can say it took almost an hour for the bikes to pack in the parking lot. This annual ride along with the combined efforts of the Empty Stocking fund, and the Salvation Army, greatly impact the lives of countless children in this area. I urge each and every one of you that have found your way to my blog, motorcycle enthusiast or not, please attend at least one toy ride in your life time. As a participant it is certainly a moving event. The riders, standing shoulder to shoulder in a sea of bikes, gathering with one unifying purpose in mind, helping the children, certainly leaves one awestruck. However, unless you have experienced both sides of the coin as I have, I don’t believe you can fully imagine, or grasp the magnitude of the impact an event like this has. As a recipient of the warmth, kindness, and generosity shared, and extended by the thousands of men and women that make this possible, I am forever a changed man. We all certainly want to do our best to give our children everything they want. However, often in life, circumstances arise that are out of our control. I have no words to express the utter hopeless feeling you have as a parent when you realize Christmas is just around the corner, and you don’t have any presents to give. Then, you find that friends in the community, and perfect strangers alike, all band together, standing with you, to provide a wonderful Christmas for your children. I simply have no words to express just how deep my gratitude is for these exceptional men and women. So, for those of you that have considered participating, and are wondering just what all of this is about, I ask you to reflect on the wonderment of Christmas as a child. Now realize that without the care of the many, many people involved in the Outback Riders, Salvation Army, the Empty Stocking fund, and other groups like these, those wonderful memories you have, would not be possible for some children on Christmas day. If you are familiar with this area, or know of a similar event in your community, I urge you to please, please participate in any way you can. I sincerely hope each and every one of you has a joyous holiday season, and ride safe….