PILOT MOUNTAIN — Workers and customers came together at Cooper’s Sports Bar in Pilot Mountain Saturday afternoon for an annual Christmas motorcycle ride to visit a pair of area children’s centers.
The fifth annual ride followed a familiar format as participants loaded a pair of larger vehicles with gifts for the centers’ young residents. The transport vehicles were joined for the estimated 100-mile ride by motorcycle riders. Accompanying the entourage was primary organizers Joy Hambright, an employee, and Cooper’s owner Valerie Haigler in a classic 1939 Roadster.
According to Hambright, Saturday’s ride was the culmination of several weeks involving fundraising efforts, shopping and wrapping of gifts in preparation for the visits to the Surry Children’s Center and the Yadkinville Children’s Center. Earlier last week, volunteers had gone shopping for 13 residents, after collecting “wish lists” of favorite items for each child.
“We’d been able to raise about $1,500,” Hambright said, “and that was enough to fill all the wish lists. We had one little boy who wanted a guitar and ‘B String,’ a Winston-Salem guitar shop, donated that. His eyes lit up when he saw it.”
In addition to requested gifts, participants provided a new pair of tennis shoes and a new outfit of clothing for each child along with snacks and drinks for all. Additional clothing was also left with the center for future residents.
“It was a great day for everybody,” Hambright said. “To see their smiles was awesome. It was breathtaking. One told us this was the best thing that had ever happened to him.
“We all have a little Santa in us,” she continued, “and there’s no other feeling like this. It brought tears of joy to our eyes.”
In addition to the annual children’s centers project, the Main Street business had also selected 10 “angels,” representing local children with need, from area angel tree projects and will be providing those gifts in the coming days.
Dean Palmer may be reached at 336-351-4131 or email@example.com.