By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico
Vehicles on U.S. 60/80 pulled over to the side of the road Saturday morning, making way for about 50 motorcycles that thundered eastbound on a mission to collect food for the needy.
The riders snaked through Clovis neighborhoods, picking up food donations left near mailboxes as part of the High Plains Harley-Davidson Glen Fuller Food Run.
Other volunteer groups such as the Desert Cruisers and the Clovis Lion’s Club also collected items for the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico.
The Food Bank collected more than 17,500 pounds of food from Clovis and Portales donors, according to Clovis Food Bank Executive Director Nancy Taylor. The bank collected about 13,000 cans last year, she said.
“This is the largest canned food drive we have ever had,” she said.
ENMU employee Kelli Richerson donated about 1,000 items, according to Food Bank Board President Brian Bunce.
Taylor said the Kappa Sigma fraternity at ENMU also contributed to the food drive.
“ENMU stepped up,” Bunce said.
The Food Bank serves communities in the Curry, Roosevelt, De Baca, Guadalupe, Quay, Harding, Union and Colfax counties.
This year’s Harley-Davidson run was named after Glen Fuller, a big contributor to the food drive for many years. Fuller suffered a stroke this year and moved to Las Vegas, Nev., to be closer to family.
“Glen Fuller loved the Food Drive, he’s been a bike rider for many years of his life,” High Plains Harley-Davidson Business Manger Randy Rhue said. “And helping people was something he loved doing.”
High Plains Harley-Davidson clothing manager Sharon Null said one year Fuller pulled up at the motorcycle dealership’s parking lot in a pickup truck that slanted backward because it carried so much canned food.
T-shirts bearing a picture of Fuller standing beside his 1978 Harley-Davidson Super Glide sold for $10. Proceeds from T-shirt sales went to the food bank.
Daniel Platt rode his 2006 Harley-Davidson Night Train at the run as a “gopher,” meeting donors at their doors to pick up the donations.
“We’ve had a beautiful day for (the run), and it’s a good opportunity to break stereotypes in community because everybody comes together for a great cause,” said Platt, who has been riding for two years.
“A lot of people think bikers got a real bad reputation. It’s one way to show they care too. They’re not the Hell’s Angels in the movies. They do a lot of charity work that a lit of people in the community don’t see.”
Freedom New Mexico staff writer Sharna Johnson contributed to this report.