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Christmas spirit prevails among bikers in Pa.

July 26, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- More than 90 bikers were dreaming of a bright "Christmas in July" on Sunday, but they settled for a gray day to ride their motorcycles for a good cause.

Christmas in July is an annual event that raises money to send local underprivileged and abused children to the Royal Family Kids Camp.

Starting at M&S Harley-Davidson and riding two by two, the nearly 100 motorcycles stretched for at least a half-mile as they made their way through Chambersburg to Detrich-Brechbill American Legion Post 612 in St. Thomas, Pa.

Their journey, led by Chambersburg Police, spanned 10 miles.

Calvin Wolfe, president of the Keystone Chapter of ABATE of Pennsylvania, said the parade raised $9,000 before a single motorcycle hit the road on Sunday, matching what it raised in 2008.

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"Our goal is to raise $12,000 this year," he said. "The rain might hurt us, but we have had some very generous sponsors, so I think we will get close."

Each biker was asked to donate $10 upon arriving at the post, where music and food awaited them.

"It's a good cause," said Elton Ensor of Warfordsburg, Pa., opening his wallet.

Ensor, 84, often rides his bike for charity and said the success of the event Sunday was due largely in part to the men and women on Harleys, Yamahas and Hondas.

"Bikers are a different class of people," he said. "These are some of the most generous and happy people you will ever meet."

The Chambersburg community also showed its support for Christmas in July by lining U.S. 30 to wave and cheer on the riders.

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