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ABATE delivers Village Christmas

Santa Claus’ sled had a little more deer power than usual as heand members of the Southwest Chapter of American Bikers ActiveToward Education (ABATE) of Mississippi delivered toys on Saturdayto the Baptist Children’s Village Dickerson Place campus.

“This is my backup sled,” said Claus, who was on the back of his1965 hog. “It’s not reindeer-drawn, it’s HarleyDavidson-drawn.”

Roughly 40 Southwest chapter members from several surroundingcounties met in the Wal-Mart parking lot before cruising downHighway 84 East for the group’s 15th installment of the DickersonPlace toy run.

“Each child puts in a request for two gifts,” said treasurerCarmen Hill. “We do our best to fulfill that wish list.”

Through a gun drawing, the organization was able to raise about$800 to provide Christmas gifts for the 15 residents of DickersonPlace, a Christ-centered ministry that provides support and carefor children and families.

“If you can bring a smile to one face, it’s worth it,” saidABATE member Charles Cunningham.

Joyce Wilson, Dickerson Place campus director, said the toy runis something they look forward to every year. She mentionedanticipation builds around early December and excitement grows whenthe children hear the roar of the engines down the street.

“Every family has those things that start Christmas,” saidWilson. “This is it for us.”

While the event serves as the kick-start to the DickersonPlace’s Christmas season, it is also a time for chapter members tojoin together for a common cause.

“We’re all here,” said member Jerry Gressett. “We’re all worriedabout the children, nothing else.”

According to the organization’s website, ABATE is a politicallyactive charitable organization working on preserving motorcyclists’rights, and promoting a positive public image for motorcyclists andmotorcycling as a whole.

“That’s what this organization is all about, to change thosestereotypes,” said Cunningham.