Santa Claus will lead
a pack of motorcycles from Hayward to Newark, California this weekend. But he
won’t be on a sleigh. He’ll be riding a
“I don’t know if he’s gonna be riding a chopper or a bagger,” said Bobby Tabaldo.
“We do know it’s going to be a V-twin, American-made engine though,” he said,
with a chuckle.
Tabaldo is one of the more than 500 motorcyclists who will be cruising with Santa on Saturday to bring toys to kids in the Tri-City area.
The United Motorcycle Clubs of Alameda County partnered with a philanthropic organization based in Newark called the League of Volunteers for its fifth annual toy drive. The UMCAC is an unregulated alliance of about 60 motorcycle clubs from the East Bay who get together for the sheer joy of riding.
One of the goals for this year's toy drive is to provide the public with a more realistic image of motorcycle club membership, said Tabaldo.
“Motorcyclists have such a negative image that’s perpetuated by media, government, and documentaries like Gangland,” he said. “That’s certainly not the reality of it,” he said, noting that the club has doctors, lawyers, and pastors in its membership.
Kickstands go up at noon, at which point the gang will cruise to the Cedar Boulevard Neighborhood Church in Newark where they will meet and greet the children LOV adopted for the holiday.
Santa will dismount and get ready to take photos with the kids, while some of the cyclists give rides to children around the parking lot. Others will dig into the BBQ that awaits them on the ride.
“Good Lord willing, if the weather holds out,” said Sharon Slayton, LOV program director.
“We’re very exited to do this for the community; it’s been wonderful; I’ve been talking to so many people these past few days that I’m in tears at their generosity,” she said. Slayton said her team adopted about 100 families this year. The children will be given toys from the toy drive at the event, which is free and open to the public.
Anyone who wants to ride with Santa and the gang can meet them at the Not Yo’ Momma’s Upholstery Shop, located at 1980 National Avenue. Suite A in Hayward California, starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 14. The suggested donation to participate is $10 and a new unwrapped toy. They depart at noon.
The attire is expected to be mostly leather, with perhaps a few rogue elves. "A few years back, we had some children dress up like helpers," Tabaldo said.
Costumes are not required, but likely to be appreciated. The BBQ begins at 1:30 p.m.