When a group of bighearted bikers get together with a few police officers and volunteer firemen, you have a powerful force who have one goal in mind – making sure kids from lower income families don’t go without a visit from Santa Claus, come Christmastime.
Members of Wyoming Central ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) straddled their iron horses Saturday morning in Casper at the Eastside Walmart and headed out for one of their annual toy runs, with stops in Douglas and Glenrock. The run was a chance for the leather-clad humanitarians to collect donations of new toys in preparation for their cooperative holiday giving program alongside area police officers and firefighters.
The contingent of bikers exited I-25 and rolled into the Douglas Inn parking lot just after 1:30 p.m., where they were met by members of the Douglas Police Department and Douglas Volunteer Fire Department.
As the riders stretched their legs for a few minutes, Santa Claus could be seen coordinating the drive through Douglas streets to Deanna’s Waterhole with police officers providing escort.
Soon, the parade of bikes, trikes and other vehicles made their way down West Richards to the Waterhole for lunch.
“We had about 50 people participating Saturday,” Mike Mileage said. Mileage is a member of Wyoming Central ABATE. “We usually have two or three times that number riding, but we did good. We got quite a bit of toys. We also heard this morning that Menards in Casper would like to donate the toys they have been collecting in their toy drive to us, too, for Christmas,” he said.
After the lunch break, everyone headed back to I-25 for the short ride to Glenrock to collect more toys, finally winding up at the Deer Creek Lounge to check out the day’s collection.
“It’s an absolutely incredible feeling to give and to watch people hand over their last $20 . They will do without to make sure a kid has a smile on their face. It brings me so much joy to watch it all,” ABATE Membership Coordinator Vicki Sayles said.
Anyone wishing to donate a new toy or make a financial contribution for ABATE’s Christmas toy deliver program, can do so by contacting Mileage at 307-577-9165 or visit Wyoming Central ABATE on Facebook.