Red Knights Motorcycle Club Maryland 4 Toy Drive

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Red Knights Motorcycle Club Maryland 4 Toy Drive

12/13/2011

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On Saturday, December 10, the Red Knights Motorcycle Club Maryland 4 met at K-Mart in Prince Frederick to spend over $4,000 buying gifts for children involved with the Social Services system of Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

The money that was spent was raised by the motorcycle club by holding two “boot drives” over two Saturday’s, the 26th of November at the intersection of Dares Beach Rd and RT 4 and the 3rd of December, at the intersection of First Colony Blvd and RT 235. “We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to all the people who stopped and gave what they could” said Chapter president Al Billings “Without their generosity this would not be possible.” During the collections, the group was accompanied by Santa Claus, who came in riding his Red Harley Davidson Motorcycle with a Bag full of goodies on the back, and took time to take pictures with kids that came by to visit. The “elves” and Santa handed out candy canes to all the motorists they could. “Next year we hope to convince Charles County Commissioners to allow us to do the “boot drive” fund raising, which would allow us to help Charles County Children as well.” Billings said “Currently Charles County Law prohibits that type of fund raising”

Stacey Welling, The club Quartermaster has been working for months on the planning of this years’ event. He has worked closely with the employees of the Social Services departments now for two years. “The departments gave us a list with the age and gender of over 87 children ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years who are involved with their agencies this year. Last year it was about 120” he said. Stacey took it a step further by even negotiating additional discounts from K-Mart and scheduled the shopping for a day that a sale that would maximize the amount of gifts that could be purchased. Many members showed up at 10am, and with the assistance of the store manager and a few employees they spent over 5 hours filling the lists. “K-Mart helped a huge amount and kicked in a gift card of $400 to be spent” said Stacey. Over 13 carts were overflowing when it came time to load up the sleigh and take it to the ‘wrapping shop’, where the members stayed on duty until almost 9pm. Sorting and bagging all the gifts. Along with the gifts, each child will receive a stocking that is filled with goodies and a card, as well as a nice winter hat and gloves.“One gentleman with a very big heart even stopped us in the store and handed us a fifty dollar bill to add to the shopping” said Treasurer Kim Welling “and that after all the discounts and donations are added together we will be getting over $5,400 in gifts”

The club will be getting together again on Friday the 16th to deliver the ribbon wrapped bags to the agencies for them to ensure Christmas delivery to the kids.

Along with the candy canes handed out to the motorists, over two thousand Maryland State Motorcycle Awareness Cards or brochures were also given out. “Ensuring Motorcycle safety is a concern of people both behind the wheel as well as on a bike” Said Treasurer Kim Welling. “We have been working with the St Mary’s and Calvert Highway Safety Program now for over a year.” She added “We are a 501C-3 non-profit, for anyone wanting to make donations please feel free to visit our website.”

Red Knights Maryland Chapter 4 was founded in 2003 and is comprised of Firefighters (present and past) and their families from 15 to 75 years old, living in Southern Maryland. They are the local members of the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club started in 1982 that has nearly 10,000 members in 13 Countries on 3 Continents. The Red Knights mission statement includes “engage in charitable activities, promote and educate Motorcycle Safety, and project a positive image of Motorcycling.” Anyone wishing to help out on future projects please visit www.rkmcmd4.com



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