Brother Speed delivers Christmas to Mini-Cassia

BURLEY — After nearly clearing the toy shelves at Burley Wal-Mart, Brother Speed South Central Chapter motorcycle club members had another big surprise for the Mini-Cassia Christmas Council on Thursday.

After emptying a large enclosed trailer stuffed with $26,000 worth of new toys Chapter President Gary Pawson presented the council with a $10,000 check on behalf of the club and an anonymous donor.

The gifts will all go to Mini-Cassia children whose parents can’t afford Christmas.

Tears rolled down Mini-Cassia Christmas Council President Linda Short’s cheeks as she blinked and read the amount on the check.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s just awesome,” Short said. “They take care of us. They love us and we love them. It’s an emotional trip.”

Short hugged the motorcycle club members before they departed.

The club raised the money through its annual toy run, donations, entrance fees and shirt sales.

The charity event was spearheaded by Pawson and some of his friends three years before he became a member of the club. The club took over the event 17 years ago.

They raised $2,500 the first year after 25 motorcycles came out to participate. This year more than 200 motorcycles showed up at the event.

Pawson said most of the toys, which included six gleaming new bicycles, will be delivered to children in the community next year, because of the timing of the event.

The Christmas Council has to begin sorting toys and putting together the boxes of food and presents prior to the motorcycle club’s donation each year.

Mary Lou Castaneda said the volunteers began sorting toys this summer into age categories and by gender.

 

“I do this because I remember when my kids were small they helped us and now we’re giving back,” Castaneda said.

The council has received 340 applicants for boxes so far this year, and food donations have been slightly down.

Dozens of Brother Speed members and their families showed up at Wal-Mart on Wednesday for the club’s annual toy shopping spree.

“It is chaos,” Pawson said with a grin on his face as he went back and forth between the two cash registers designated to check out the more than 60 shopping carts full of toys.

The club purchased $20,000 worth of toys and had $3,000 worth of new toys stashed at the clubhouse.

Wal-Mart stepped up and deeply discounted many of the toys, adding another $3,000 to the value.

“I think it’s great what they are doing, and we want to help them stretch their dollars so they can get as many toys as they can,” store co-manager Johnny Rivera said.

Each time a registered hit its 1,000-item limit, it would shut down.

Ravyn Pawson, 18, has participated in the event with her family for as long as she can remember.

“It always makes me happy coming to do this,” she said. “It puts a smile on my face.”

Club member Ed Pawson, her father, said it is one of the best things they do all year and a good way to teach children about community service.

“Most of us don’t have to worry about supplying our children with Christmas,” Larry Richardson, Brother Speed member said. “This is about making sure all the other children in Mini-Cassia aren’t going without.”

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LAURIE WELCH
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