The annual bike giveaway started more than 40 years ago by Frank King, who has since passed away. The tradition is now being carried on by his wife Charlene and the Boozefighters, a local motorcycle club.
“I like doing it,” said a longtime volunteer, who goes by the name of the Snowman. “It gives us hope.”
Snowman met Frank King nearly 39 years ago when they collected old bikes and repaired them.
“I met him on the loading dock where we worked. He was dressed as Santa and I asked him what he did and it’s been on ever since,” he said.
Now, the group gives brand new bikes and toys. The kids line up in the wee hours of Christmas morning waiting for Santa to arrive. They sit on his lap and tell him what kind of bike they want, then one of his ‘burly’ helpers takes the kids around to pick out a bike.
“I like it because it has butterflies,” said one little girl. Unlike last year, her bike only has two wheels. “I took off the training wheels!”
For these tough guys who work all year to bring the magic of Christmas to National City kids – it’s the wonder on the kids faces that keeps them coming back.