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Area bikers ready to spread holiday cheer through yearly event

By Staff | Dec 17, 2008

ABATE will hit the streets this weekend for its annual Adopt-A-Family Ride, hoping to make some holiday wishes come true for eight Cape Coral families.
According to event co-organizer Tammey Amodea, through the Adopt-A-Family program, ABATE has brought Christmas aid to 87 families and 198 kids during its 14-year run.
Amodea was gearing up Wednesday afternoon for “the ride,” which gathers bikers from all over Lee county who personally deliver gifts to each family.
“It’s one of the most heartfelt moments you can get,” Amodea said. “It’s the true meaning of Christmas, and we want to share it with everybody.”
In a departure for most fund-raisers and non-profits throughout Lee, ABATE has posted record numbers in donations this year.
The economic crunch has all but steered clear of ABATE, which stands for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, making this year’s ride a true success.
Amodea credited the community and businesses with stepping up to the plate and making it all happen.
“There’s still a lot of angels out there,” Amodea said. “Without them we couldn’t do it. This is one of the most successful fund-raising years we’ve had in a long time.”
ABATE provides not only gifts, but also a three-month supply of food. Each family is expecting merely a Christmas dinner, not an entire supply of food, let alone gifts for the children.
Amodea spoke in some detail about one Cape family. She requested the name of the family not be used.
According to Amodea, the mother was a victim of a car accident in which she suffered burns on 80 percent of her body. The father, a member of the construction industry, was laid off after being transferred to the Cape from the east coast of Florida.
The mother works part-time at Publix, but is close to having her hours reduced to the point where benefits will no longer be an option. Now, the family is staring down the barrel of foreclosure, having already sold off most of their possessions in hopes if making it just another month.
Amodea said “over 100 bikers, all in leather gear” will help to make this family’s holiday a success, and maybe give them some hope for a better and more prosperous New Year.
She scoured the streets during last week’s “Bike Night” in downtown Cape, trying to get bikers to help with deliveries on the ride.
“I don’t want any money, any toys. I just want you to shed a tear,” she told the bikers she approached. “I want you to understand.”
Whether on two or four wheels, Amodea said everyone in the community is welcome to come out and take part in the event. She added that ABATE is “not looking for donations” during the ride, just people who want to help put smiles on the faces of the eight families.
Things kick off on at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at Jaycee Park. The ride concludes at about 4 p.m.
For more information, contact Amodea at 994-0818.