COARSEGOLD – The firefighters of Madera County Station 11 in North Fork were the recipients of a nice big check on Sunday – the proceeds of the 3rd annual Next Firefighter Up Motorcycle Poker Run held on Sept. 22.
Mitch Riegelhuth, owner of G’ma and Pappa’s Biker Apparel in Coarsegold, presented a check for $4,700 to Sandy Chaille, president of the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.
The money will be used to provide Station 11 firefighters with any equipment they need to do their job that is not provided by Cal Fire or Madera County.
This is the third year Mitch has organized this run, along with the Sierra Shadow Casters Motorcycle Club. Leaders For Christ, True Heart and One National Under God Motorcycle Clubs are also a major part of the event, which saw 80 bikes and 120 people turn out for the ride this year.
Over the past three years, they have raised and donated nearly $17,000 for local firefighters. Station 10 in Yosemite Lakes Park and Station 8 in Indian Lakes are previous recipients.
Now that the poker run is over, Mitch and the Shadow Casters are focusing their efforts on assuring that less-fortunate mountain area children have a wonderful Christmas.
Their goal for this year is to give away 150 bikes, plus toys and bike helmets.
On Dec. 15, there will be a very merry event at the shop where Santa will ride up on a motorcycle to bring Christmas to local kids.
“We know there are many great organizations who raise funds for similar causes – the difference is that we are LOCAL and not going to skim a percentage for ‘admin costs,'” say organizers. “Gifts will go to LOCAL children. Your donation of any amount is very much appreciated. Please help us put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.”
Mitch says that if they run out of bikes, “we will get their names and do everything in our power to get more.”
For more information visit their Facebook page or call (209) 756-2943.