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submitted by Dan Scott
Chapter OK-I Director

On December 15th Oklahoma's newest Chapter, OK-I had our first Toy Run and Food Drive for needy families in the Bixby community. We had motorcycles of every make and model that you can imagine from Harleys to Suzukis to Indians. Yes, we had several Gold Wings, as well. Each bike, regardless of the make, all came to Bixby, Oklahoma carrying toys and food for the local families in need. The stories we heard from the Outreach Center were heartwarming, even with the help we might provide, there was still a great deal more help needed for families, especially the kids. When Mattie Jones first approached Dan Scott, Director of Chapter I and asked what I thought about doing this, the first thing I said was how do we get started? Who do we contact? After making a few phone calls, the Chapter I food & toy drive was underway. With the help of several people, we all got together, wrapped boxes with Christmas paper and started putting them in locations where we thought we would get donations. Places like local banks, food stores, beauty shop and of course, a motorcycle shop.

We had the help of many people and without their help, this would have been almost impossible. People like the Bixby Police Department, who helped block the intersection so we could get out on South Memorial Drive safely. Others included the Patriot Guard Riders who also helped at intersections. The group was led by Chapter I Director, Dan Scott. Chapter I's Mark Boatman was our tail gunner for the day. Mark and I have ridden many miles together and we both know what to expect from the other. Mark and I stayed within radio contact for the most part during the entire ride. At times we were more than a mile apart. Being a level 4 really paid off that day. If you have ever led a group of any size, you know what I'm talking about. As the group leader, you're always in touch with your tail gunner, always checking your mirrors and watching the group.

After a short 28 mile ride down some scenic roads and back through a couple of small Oklahoma towns, the thundering sounds of more than 80 motorcycles would return to the Bixby Community Center, where everyone would enjoy hot dogs, chips, water and pop all donated by Chapter I Members and Doc's Country Mart in Bixby. Mattie and I heard nothing but good comments from everyone. I am very pleased to be a part of this great organization. Thursday December 20th, Bill & Donna Shenberger, along with Ms. Mattie and Dan would buy nearly $300.00 in canned food and dry food items for the families. Then, the big day was here! Saturday, December 22nd, after sorting the toys and food, this was the time we all had been waiting for. The day we would give all the great gifts away to those needy families. We saw many tears that day and heard many stories. I think we all had a tear at some time during the morning.

As Director of Oklahoma Chapter I, I could have not been more proud of these Chapter Members. These guys and gals all saw a need to help someone in need and they all came together like they always have. Eric Jones & Norm Hoelting donated their time and cooked the hot dogs and JoAnna Wells, Cheryl Kleymann, Kaiti Kleymann and Brenda Jones were busy all afternoon serving food. Thank you everyone! Phillip Griggs and JoAnna Wells took many pictures that we will remember for many years to come.

Chapter I is small but proud. Everyone that participated in our first Toy & Food Drive knows we are here and are looking forward to next year. We expect our 2013 drive to be bigger and better and from the stories I heard from the City of Bixby, the local merchants and the community, we should expect nothing less.

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