Ordinarily, this relationship is "certainly not!" one my grandmother, Addie Crist, would approve of.
But when it comes to the annual devotion that the Harley Riders of Martha's Vineyard pay to the Red Stocking Fund, this is one I am sure she would endorse. Crist founded the charitable organization in 1938 and since then, it has grown to help 400 island families per year. The Harley Riders are one of the reasons.
Santa Rides His Hog Again
As reported in the Martha's Vineyard Times, "Santa rode to the Island on his hog again this year, bringing bikes, toys, and $12,000 in donations to the Red Stocking Fund."
That devotion has continued unabated for 30 years, according to Harley Riders President Renee Mathieu.
During the ride, participants enjoy a ride around the Island with Santa Claus, and collect toys and money from the donation boxes.
After the ride, everyone returns to the Portuguese-American Club for a hearty chicken dinner. Everything is tallied up, and the gifts and donations are brought to the Red Stocking Fund to be distributed to Island kids in need.
Riders of All Ages
According to Mathieu, this year’s ride was attended by all ages of riders from different states.
“It was a great ride. It’s always so much fun — people are just so happy to give their time and effort,” Mathieu told the Times.
Mathieu said he has had the opportunity to personally deliver gifts to children in need, and he said it is a blessing.
“I get to see the faces light up with smiles. When kids get a gift and they didn’t expect to get anything for the holidays, well, that’s pretty special,” Mathieu said. “Our childhood is everything, and our memories of Christmas and the holidays are so important.”
Mathieu said, he hopes to continue to grow the club's membership and strengthen the initiative.
“This is one of our biggest efforts. It really helps the Island, and I hope we can continue it with some new members,” Mathieu said.
Red Stocking Fund Is "Very Blessed"
Red Stocking Fund co-chair Susie Wallo said she is thankful for the Harley Riders and their dedication to the well-being of the Island community,
“They’re incredible people. Salt of the earth, so giving, so kind, and the money they collect is so important to kids all across the Vineyard,” Wallo said. “They have chosen our little Red Stocking Fund as a beneficiary, and we feel very blessed.”
For More Information
If you would like to donate to the Red Stocking Fund, call 508-776-6050. Or, email email@example.com.
Read the original article at MV Times. Photos by Patricia Carlet.