The famous faces which highlighted a toy run in southern California on December 17th included actors Robert Patrick of the CBS show ‘Scorpion’ as well as Mike Beach and Emilio Rivera from the FX show ‘Sons of Anarchy’. What may be of more interest to motorcycle enthusiasts is the group that organized and completed the ride, a chapter of the historic Boozefighters Motorcycle Club.
One of the oldest and more famous motorcycle clubs, the Boozefighters first came to nationwide attention through its involvement in the Fourth of July weekend in 1947 in Hollister, California that would go on to become one of Marlon Brando’s better known roles in ‘The Wild Ones’. This event would frame the public's perception of bikers and coin biker phrases still in use. Today, the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for veterans and has participated in several toy runs over the years.
It was Chapter 101 of the Boozefighters and other local motorcycle clubs which came together last weekend to take part in a toy run for Hillsides, a foster care charity. The riders rode from Canyon Country, California to Hillsides main campus in Pasadena, California with a truck load of holiday gifts. The groups came together to do exactly what countless other motorcycle clubs and thousands of bikers have been doing around the world since the beginning of the month, using their riding passions to help others.
“This is the second year that Robert and his fellow riders have come onto campus bearing gifts, and it is a tremendous sight to see,” said Hillsides Chief Executive Officer Joseph M. Costa. “Not only did they collect hundreds of toys, the children who live at Hillsides get a huge kick out of talking to the riders and sitting on their motorcycles. This is a true highlight of the holidays for everyone.”
Hillsides provides high quality care, advocacy, and innovative services that promote safe, permanent environments where children and youth can thrive. Headquartered in Pasadena, the agency and its affiliation with Bienvenidos serves 13,000 children and families in Los Angeles County throughout its 35 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park.
Patrick, first made famous for his role as T-1000 in the 1991 movie “Terminator 2,” said that he feels compelled to give back because as a child, he was surrounded by a loving family who supported his dreams.
Robert Patrick during the Toy Run
“I love that Hillsides is giving kids a chance for opportunity and to change their lives,” he said. “I know from personal experience how important it is to have someone believe in you.”
Patrick learned about Hillsides through his local Episcopal church, St. Thomas the Apostle in Hollywood. Hillsides has its roots in the Episcopal Church, having been founded in 1913 by an Episcopal deaconess, Evelyn Wile. Besides helping Hillsides, Patrick is a devoted advocate for veterans and has traveled around the world with the United Service Organizations (USO) visiting troops.
The gifts collected through the toy run will be distributed to some of the 13,000 children and families Hillsides serves throughout Los Angeles County. There is still time to provide children and families with holiday gifts and winter outings to help those in need experience the magic of the season.