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Motorcycle club delivers PRIDE to area youth home

December 18, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - They received gift cards and sports gear Sunday afternoon, but perhaps the best gift for boys at Shining Tree Children's Home was the time they spent with members of PRIDE Motorcycle Club.

For the 10th year, about 15 club members visited boys at the Hagerstown group home and brought pizza, gifts and the chance to ride on the back of a motorcycle.

PRIDE Motorcycle Club is for working or retired correctional officers, member Carliss Eby said.

"Every year, they have a good time with these guys," said David Sullivan, a youth counselor at Shining Tree. "The boys like it when they come riding up the driveways on their cycles."

Santa Claus even takes up the rear of the motorcycle procession. Other riders wear antlers, and one man wore a red nose like Rudolph.

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Eby did not ride a motorcycle to the group home Sunday, but he strapped antlers on the vehicle that he was using to carry the gifts and four pizzas donated by Pizza Hut.

"This is something that's near and dear to myself," said Jeff Garvin, vice president of PRIDE. "It's like my own little Christmas present."

Garvin said he started the Christmas ride about 10 years ago. He dresses in a red felt Santa costume with a long white beard each year.

The boys at Shining Tree are 8 to 17 years old, Garvin said, but he still makes them sit on his lap before he passes out their presents.

This year, those gifts included sports gear, cell phones, phone cards and clothing, he said.

Eby said about $50 is spent on each boy.

"We're just sharing a little bit of our time with them," Garvin said. "They appreciate it."

Every year after the Christmas ride to Shining Tree, Garvin said he receives a package of cards thanking the club for its time and the gifts.

"I feel like they're my kids," Garvin said.

The motorcycle club raises money year-round for other causes.

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