Motorcyclists deliver teddy bears to sick kids - WNEM TV 5

Motorcyclists deliver teddy bears to sick kids

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Black leather. Harley Davidson. Fluffy teddy bears.

One of these things may seem out of place for a normal motorcycle cruise, but not during the Teddy Bear Ride.

Joe Yax is the general manager of Great Lakes Harley Davidson.

“When you see a mile and a half of motorcycles going down the road, some people's first thought is, ‘uh oh, there's a bunch of bikers.’ And then they take a second look and there's a big pink panda bear there on the back of the motorcycle,” Yax said.

He said this Saturday he expects about 200 bikers to roll up to Covenant Health Care and give stuffed animals to sick children.

“We already know they don't want to be there, so hopefully it's a little ray of sunshine for them,” Yax said.

This year they don't have enough donations.

“We want to make sure we have enough bears, we don't want Covenant to run out,” Yax said. “We want to make sure every child who needs a bear or stuffed animal will get one.”

The goal of the ride is to give the kids the stuffed animals, but it also serves to shatter the stereotypes of bikers.

“A lot of people have an image in their head and this breaks the mold,” Yax said. “Because what Mid-Michigan bikers are about, they're about charity and the kids. If there's someone in need or ill, this community of bikers come together and take care of people.”

The bikers will ride from Bay City to Saginaw and hand deliver the bears to the patients.

“Grown men, tough guys in their leather, when they see those kids they melt,” Yax said. “I've seen grown men break down in tears because they know they're making a difference.”

Anyone interested in donating stuffed animals to the Teddy Bear Ride can drop off stuffed animals at the Great Lakes Harley Davidson in Bay City until Aug. 8.

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