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ABATE motorcycle group delivers supplies to ACTS 9 food, clothing bank

December 09, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Santa Claus, aka Arnold "TV" Davis, leads other Washington County Chapter ABATE of Maryland members Sunday as they deliver items to the ACTS 9 food and clothing bank.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Santa and his reindeer might make a clatter, but the man in red and his elves created a rumble Sunday morning as they drove into downtown Hagerstown on Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Honda, Triumph and BMW motorcycles to deliver donations to a food and clothing bank.

Santa led the procession aboard his sleigh, a Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager.

Sunday marked the 20th year the local chapter of ABATE of Maryland has brought donations to the ACTS 9 clothing and food bank, which went by the name Adventist Community Services Center when the partnership started, according to Sandy Martin, ACTS 9 executive director.

“I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much the last 20 years have ... meant to us,” Martin said as the ABATE members gathered for refreshments after unloading two small trucks full of clothes, food and household items.

“You just sort of feel like family to us ’cause it’s been this long,” Martin said.

Martin’s late father, Carl Shafer, was director of the clothing and food bank when ABATE members Raymond and Fritz Sine connected the motorcycle group to the clothing and food bank.

ABATE member Gary Boward recalled how the group went to church after church 20 years ago trying to find one that would let the motorcyclists help.

“We went church to church to church in Hagerstown and they didn’t want us pulling motorcycles in front, they didn’t want us, ... ‘Well, can you come without the motorcycles?’ ‘Do you have to wear those black jackets?’ ‘Can you pull around the back?’ ‘Don’t go on Sunday.’ We heard all the excuses,” said Boward, 63, of Clear Spring.

“It was quite a struggle to find somebody who was willing to accept the motorcycle image,” said Fritz Sine, 61, of Chewsville.

Like Santa’s elves working throughout the year, ABATE members collected money and clothes all year in order to make Sunday’s donations.

Donations were a bit down this year, with the economy continuing to struggle, said Clarence “Tuck” Koontz Jr., director of the local ABATE chapter. The local chapter raised more than $800 this year, he said.

To help fundraising for the ACT 9 donation in 2013, the ABATE chapter will raffle off an item at each of its events, Koontz said.

ABATE member Lisa Dove of Smithsburg said the chapter still had more stuff to drop off at ACTS 9.

ABATE members went to San Mar Children’s Home later in the day to hold a Christmas party for girls at the Boonsboro-area shelter-care program.

The Adventists Caring Through Sharing food and clothing bank is at 35 E. Washington St. ACTS 9 is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. The food and clothing bank will be closed  for the holidays Dec. 25 and 27 and Jan. 1, Martin said.

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