Motorcycle clubs celebrate 15th Christmas in JulyChristmas came early for the students at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown on Saturday. ACC students were greeted by Santa Claus as part of the Individuals and Ladies Individuals Motorcycle clubs’ 15th annual Christmas in July benefit. It was Individuals member Al Martell this year who donned the red suit and white wig to greet the students.
Christmas came early for the students at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown on Saturday.
ACC students were greeted by Santa Claus as part of the Individuals and Ladies Individuals Motorcycle clubs’ 15th annual Christmas in July benefit.
It was Individuals member Al Martell this year who donned the red suit and white wig to greet the students.
The clubs donated more than $4,200 in 2012 to gifts for the 60-plus students at the ACC as part of the benefit.
“The No. 1 thing is just seeing the look on these kids’ faces,” said Nichole Seigman, treasurer for the Ladies Individuals Motorcycle Club. “Some of these kids don’t ever even get to see Santa, so things like that make this a really special event to us.”
Seigman said the clubs have a goal each year to outdo the previous year’s donations, with the hopes this year to give each student at the ACC not only a gift, but also a gift certificate to purchase something he or she needs or wants.
“Some of these kids don’t have the money to buy certain things — small things, really,” said Seigman, who has been with the club for four years. “With this, they finally get to have some of those luxuries that most of us consider normal living.”
Each student this year will receive approximately $70 in gifts, including a $50 gift certificate to be used as the student chooses.
Both clubs also donate annually to the students in another way.
“There are a lot of donations that go directly to the school, but we thought, ‘Let’s spend our money a different way. Let’s donate just to the kids through the activity fund,’” Seigman said.
Last year, the clubs donated about $1,000 to the activity fund — which goes directly toward extra student expenditures such as gloves, boots, school supplies, etc. — and Seigman said she expects the clubs will do the same again this year.
Besides the Christmas in July benefit, Seigman said the clubs also have helped at the center through repairing its nature trail, constructing a gazebo and have made it a tradition each Halloween to provide pizza for the ACC’s annual Halloween party.
The Individuals Motorcycle Club began in 1980 and has about 20 active members. The Ladies Individuals Motorcycle Club began in 1997 and has seven active members.
“On behalf of both clubs, we’re thankful for the support of the local and surrounding areas businesses, the bikers that come from great distances to attend and to the Anne Carlsen Center for letting us be a part of these students’ lives,” Seigman said.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com