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Ride with ABATE for Children’s Village Sept. 19

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | August 21, 2020 1:00 AM

Toys, funds will help kids in crisis

Beneath the helmets, the leather and the seemingly tough exteriors, the bikers of ABATE of North Idaho have a soft spot for kiddos.

The biker guys and gals of ABATE — A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments — are planning to hop on their bikes Sept. 19 for the sixth annual Coeur d'Alene Children's Village Toy Run. It’s an event to raise funds and awareness for the children-centered nonprofit while collecting toys and celebrating camaraderie among members and the community at large.

"When people think about bikers, it's not always a positive image," ABATE member Frank Emahiser said Thursday. "It's nice to put out there we have a heart, like everybody else."

The Kootenai chapter of about 75 members is collecting toys for babies to teens; girls up to age 18 and boys to age 14.

"It can be anything, whatever moves you," Emahiser said.

They don't have to be expensive, either. These toys will be gifted to Children's Village's kids during birthdays and holidays. Those who are housed at Children's Village are experiencing abuse, neglect or other crises, and Emahiser said the goal is to make life a little more tolerable for them as they go through those hard times.

“You can never underestimate the impact you have on an individual,” Emahiser said. “They’re in a really tough place. Just to see a spark of humanity in them, it’s worth that effort.”

Last year's event brought in a good haul of toys and about $1,500. Normally, the riders will make a stop at Children's Village and enjoy some time with the residents, but because of COVID, they will be doing a parade and a "drive-by waving" before the run.

“We’ll usually park the bikes and the kids will get to beep the horns and start them up,” said Duane Justus, who serves as the ABATE state organizer for the Kootenai, Hoodoo and Hell's Canyon chapters.

"To help the kids and see the smiles on theirs face, that makes it all worthwhile," he said.

ABATE members are inviting those who want to participate in the toy run to be at Lawrence's Motorcycles, 1704 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, for sign up at 9 a.m. Sept. 19. The ride will depart at 10 a.m., head to Children's Village, then go north to Klondyke Café and Tavern in Sandpoint. The ride will then go to Cruiser's in Post Falls for a barbecue buffet. A portion of the proceeds from the barbecue will go to Children's Village.

Collection barrels for toys will be put out this week. Cash and merchandise can be dropped off at: Indian/AllSports, Lone Wolf, Mike's Powersports, Post Falls Powersports, Coeur d'Alene Powersports, M6 Cycles, Curley's and Cruisers.

ABATE is a nonprofit motorcycle rights organization of volunteers who work to promote motorcycle education and safety.

Info: www.abateofnorthidahobikers.org

photo

Duane Justus, Frank Emahiser and Valerie Nadalet are among the ABATE of North Idaho members planning a toy run to support Children's Village on Sept. 19. This is the sixth year for the event. Last year's ride brought in $1,500 for the child-centered nonprofit. (Courtesy photo)