Surely Santa Claus won’t be stopped by rain, sleet or snow. But every so often he needs a little help getting toys from point A to point B.
On Sunday, riders from Frazier’s Harley-Davidson in Buford gave Father Christmas a helping hand, braving the rain and cold to deliver thousands of dollars worth of toys to the Chattahoochee Baptist Association in Gainesville.
This is the 24th year that riders from the dealership and surrounding area have made the annual ride, and even though this year’s ride was slightly dampened by the dreary weather, the community support made sure it was still a success.
“It really went well today. A lot of people stepped up to help, knowing that the attendance was going to be low,” said Bill Frazier, owner and proprietor of Frazier’s Harley-Davidson. “With the other people stepping up, and with the donations we have received, we have as many or more toys than we always have.”
The dealership gave its regular donation of $1,000 of toys, and Frazier said the large donations from other businesses like Gainesville Truck Center, which also donated $1,000 of toys, and Smokehouse BBQ, which donated $500, made a huge difference.
“All the weather did was cut down on the number of the bikes we had participate,” he said.
In previous years the event has drawn more than 300 riders, but the stormy cold weekend weather conditions left the procession with only a handful of the most dedicated riders.
One of those dedicated riders, Greg Davis, scoffed at the rain and cold they rode through on Sunday.
“That’s all the more reason to ride. It’s motivation,” he said from the warehouse space of Chattahoochee Baptist Association.
Davis, a longtime motorcycle rider, said he has participated in many charity rides, and the thought of who they benefit keeps him going.
“These kids go through so much. Surgeries, MRIs, they have tumors, they have IVs, they are under constant medical care. They go through great pains at 9, 10 or 11 years old. So to get on a bike and ride in 46-degree weather in the rain, that’s nothing compared to what these kids go through, and that’s why we do it,” he said.
All of the toys that were donated on Sunday will go to the Chattahoochee Baptist Association Secret Santa program. Families in need can apply to the program, and if accepted, their children can receive an age-appropriate gift at Christmas.
“This is not something that we have to do, just a good thing to do,” said Laurie Frazier, Bill’s wife. She said that in her time as a teacher in the Hall County area, she saw the need that children have firsthand, explaining that this event is her family's legacy of community support.
“It helps out children who would otherwise have nothing,” she said. “And it brings out the spirit of Christmas in the community.”