ST. GEORGE — Students at Washington Elementary received a surprise visit, leaving them all with smiles and excited looks on their faces last Friday as nearly twenty motorcycles drove onto the school property.
“They all were all at the windows wondering what was going on,” Celtic Crusaders Riding Club President Chad “Pirate” Musselman said.
Musselman and Vice President Quinton Macomber said the best part was the kid’s facial expressions and seeing the excitement in their eyes. During an interview with St. George News, they shared how much visiting the school means to the bikers.
The visit was to make a financial donation of $1900 to the student named Mr. Pine View by students at Pine View High School recently.
Each year, the Mr. Pine View fundraiser supports a community member who is facing a challenge, a medical crisis or needing financial support. Student-run events raise funds for for Mr. Pine View, including a 5K race, drawings, shirt sales and a concert.
This year, Washington Elementary second-grader Hayden Barker was awarded the title of Mr. Pine View.
“Oh man, they were all screaming and just so excited and confused of what was going on,” Barker’s mother, Morgan Carlson said of the students’ reactions to the bikers.
Carlson said her son was injured in a pontoon boating accident at Lake Powell last summer. He fell overboard and went under the boat. She explained that he resurfaced near the boat’s propeller, endured a 12-hour surgery and lost one leg.
The funds raised by the high school students will help Barker purchase an athletic prosthetic so he can compete in sports and other activities, Carlson said. The prosthetic will cost $20,000 and they need to be replaced as he grows.
Barker hopped on one leg to the motorcycles and their riders who were waiting with a big check, and even bigger smiles. He got to pick out the motorcycle he liked best, throttle the engine and imagine.
“You could see it in his face,” Musselman said. “He was excited.”
Musselman and Macomber explained how they were originally planning a $500 donation out of their club fund. However, the bikers just kept donating.
“One of our members actually works for the school and we found out about this that way,” said Musselman. “In one of our meetings, we talked about Mr. PVHS and what they were raising money for and everyone wanted to help.”
Macomber said besides the Celtic Crusaders, the FAME Riders Club also helped out with the fundraising. The Celtic Crusaders were established nine years ago and are made up of bikers from Irish and Scottish descent. FAME Riders Club members are a group of recovered drug and alcohol addicts who focus on raising sobriety awareness and recovery methods.
“We don’t support clubs, but we support causes,” said Musselman.
Earlier in February, Barker was sworn in as an honorary police officer for Washington City. Carlson said she wanted to thank those in the Washington City community who have given her son some amazing experiences.
“Ever since he woke up in the hospital he had a smile on his face,” she said. “He was okay with what was going on and he says he knows God let this happen because he could handle it. He is so fully positive.”
Macomber said there are many biker organizations in Southern Utah who make it their purpose to help out in the communities they live in.
“We love this community and it is amazing how many people get together for good causes,” he said. “You will be surprised that anytime you see a bunch of bikers together, they are out doing something good.”
When asked what he liked best about motorcycles, Barker replied without hesitation.
“They are fast,” he said, a little too quickly.
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