Kids bring out the bikers for Pa. Christmas ride

July 30, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With 148 days remaining before Christmas, a group of motorcyclists made its way through Chambersburg on Sunday to raise money for holiday giving.

They joked that Christmastime temperatures would have been appreciated for the summer event benefiting The Salvation Army.

The fourth annual "Christmas in July" took "Santa's Parade" from M&S Harley-Davidson to Detrich-Brechbill American Legion Post 612 in St. Thomas, Pa., where food and music awaited the riders of approximately 100 motorcycles.

Their journey - led by police, Santa Claus and state Rep. Todd Rock - spanned 10 miles.

"It's more of a parade than ride," said Tom Englerth, who coordinated the start.

Sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of ABATE of Pennsylvania, the festivities typically raise about $3,000 and toys for The Salvation Army's children's toy drive, Englerth said.

"I couldn't think of a better reason to come out," said Rock, R-Franklin, who opted for a yellow Corvette instead of a motorcycle.


Several people said it's the cause that keeps them coming out every year.

"If you tell them it's for kids, you usually can get bikers out," Englerth said.

Santa Claus himself, who reportedly just returned from Key West, Fla., said he comes for "the cause and to see everybody else."

"It's just fun," he said.

George Kline of Greencastle, Pa., joked around with Chambersburg residents Randy Mulhollen and Donnie Wise before the ride.

"We figured that if we'd ride, it'd rain," Wise said.

They said the cause and camaraderie made even a rainy day worth the effort.

"Personally, I guess it's for the children of the area. The Salvation Army distributes the toys to the needy children," Kline said.

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