WASILLA— Glen Butts, his fellow bikers, and about 25 participating stores across the Mat-Su Valley are at it again. The seventh annual Biker Elves Toy Drive is on the move and Butts is revving up for the final events and final weeks to collect toys and cash donations for the Mat-Su Toys for Tots and Special Santa Program.
“Bikers do get a bad rep. Yes, one percent for a reason, that’s why they’re one percent,” Butts said. “They have a family heart and when it comes to kids, they will go all out.”
Butts started the Biker Elves with his motorcycle group, the Midnight Son Riders, which is a chapter No. 801 of the Christian Motorcycle Association. He said that he created the Biker Elves program one year after he started an annual hunger drive, Bikers Fighting Hunger (formally Bikers Against Hunger) also with the Midnight Son Riders.
“They were all in,” Butts said.
Butts said that this yearly act of giving goes back to when he was a kid, helping his father with various toy drives through the biker community.
“They really went out there for the kids. It really showed me that bikers have a heart,” Butts said.
Butts admitted that he wasn’t always focused on philanthropy. He said that before he got sober, he was going through some dark times.
“Twenty years ago I would have been the Grinch that stole Christmas now I’m giving Christmas out,” Butts said.
He said that he tried to change many times but eventually got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
“I said ‘I’m done,’” Butts said.
He’s 15 years sober now. He said that he had to work on himself first then he started helping other people, which reflected what he was learning through the 12-step program. He said it was never too late to change for the good.
“It kind of fell into place after that,” Butts said.
Butts kept going. He said that he never lost his biker spirit, the true biker sprit.
“I wanted to incorporate what I’m doing with biking at all times,” Butts said.
The Biker Elves Toy drive grows each year and shows no signs of slowing down, according to Butts. He said that good feeling of helping others motivates him to keep going each year.
“It gives me a thrill every time I pick up that full sack of toys,” Butts said.
He said that the people can drop off toys and cash donations at any of the participating locations until Christmas Eve.
“If you see those bins out on Christmas Eve, be sure to put a toy in,” Butts said.
Butts noted that a lot of people who donate to this cause act similar to last minute shoppers.
“That last five days is when people like to give,” Butts said.
For more information about the Biker Elves program, contact Butts at 907-357-0579 or search for Midnight Son Riders on Facebook.
For more information about the Mat-Su Special Santa program, visit: www.specialsanta.net.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com
Upcoming Biker Elves toy drive/ fundraising events:
December 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch with Santa at the Extreme Fun Center $15per person. Lunch includes two pieces of pizza and a small drink. Pictures with Santa begin at 12 p.m.
December 22, starting at 12 p.m.
Fly in Santa at Denali Harley Davidson
The public is invited to bring new and unwrapped toys and to bring their kids for helicopter rides with Santa Claus. Note: Helicopter rides require parent’s approval.
Biker Elves participating locations:
KMBQ (Q99.7), Denali Harley Davidson, House of Yamaha, Performance Yamaha, Team CC of Wasilla, Spenard Builders Supply of Wasilla, and Palmer, all Three Bears of Alaska locations in the Valley, Body Piercing Unlimited and Tattoo, Essential One gas station, Fishers Fuel, UPS Store #2050 (Wasilla), Bright Minds Learning Center, Extreme Fun Center, Coming Attractions Theatre- Valley Cinema, Mr. Lube, and all the Subway locations in the Valley.