Bikers play Santa Claus in club’s first toy ride

POULSBO — A band of leather-jacketed, hard-riding motorcyclists will roar through the North End this morning with one thing in mind: helping older foster children enjoy Christmas.

The Dirt & Grime motorcycle club has joined forces with Kitsap Community Resources for its first toy run in Kitsap County.

The ride will kick off at 9 a.m. at the Filling Station in Kingston before stopping at Four Corners Tavern in Poulsbo with stops at the Tracyton Tavern and Old Towne Pub as the club makes its way to KCR in Bremerton by 3 p.m.

“A lot of times, they get a lot of little kid things but kids 15 to 18 go unnoticed,” said Dirt & Grime president Rich Drippon.

When the club expressed interest in helping that group of children, KCR was thrilled because no one had offered that before, said club member Tevya Friedman.

Everyday items like socks, sweatshirts — ones that most teenagers don’t give a second thought to — are things that a lot of older foster kids don’t have, Drippon said.

“What’s a 17-year-old going to do with a Tonka truck?” he asked. “We’re trying to provide all the things that most teenagers take for granted.”

The club has distributed boxes throughout the community in its effort to collect donations and members have made a concerted effort to get donations from businesses as well, Friedman said.

“We’re going to use every means at our disposal to give these kids a Christmas,” he said. “I’ve even got a portable credit card machine, so if someone wants to make a donation that way, they can.”

As owner of Custom Cycles Northwest, Drippon has taken the lead and is offering discounts to customers who make contributions.

The club is new and is dedicated to helping out the community in any it can, he said.

“For one time in our lives, we are able to help people and we want to let everybody know we are approachable,” he said, noting that most of the club’s members have children of their own.

Beneath the leather and chrome are hard-working individuals who are part of the community and have a genuine desire to help, Drippon said.

The toy run is the first of several events the club has planned to benefit the community. It has plans for a poker run in memory of “Shaky” John Horton, who was killed in a motorcycle accident on Bond Road Sept. 18, 2005 and a blood drive as well.

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