WASILLA — The Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) is at it again with their annual Bikers Against Hunger fundraising series, throughout January and wrapping at the end of February. The fundraiser is an effort to support the growing need for food in the Mat-Su. As the need grows, so does the event, broadening in scope and collaborators each year.
“I didn’t think it would be this big of an event,” said CMA rider and Bikers Against Hunger founder, Glen Butts.
There are multiple drop sites for the food drives with donation jars as well. There will also be two community events: the Tires for Tacos on February 17th at Denali Harley Davidson from 12 to 4 p.m. and the Spaghetti Feed at the Mat-Su Alano Club on Feb 25th at 2 p.m. The Entry fee is 10 cans or $ 10 for both events. Food drop off locations include: all four Three Bears Alaska grocery stores within the Mat-Su, Denali Harley Davidson, House of Yamaha, Hartley Motors, Performance Yamaha, Fishers Fuel, Arctic Ink Tattoo Parlor, Subway, Spenard Builders Supply- Wasilla and Palmer, and Q99.7 KMBQ Valley Radio.
“Everybody helps out,” Butts said.
Butts amassed all the major bike shops around town to get on board with the fundraiser “in one form or another.” He said that a number of businesses have stepped up and helped out, getting used to checking in at this time of year. Companies across the Mat-Su have donated various resources to the fund directly, or by allocating items for the two events. Each year, Carrs Safeway donates salads, dressings, and “odds and ends;” Fred Meyer donates all the “paper products” and cutlery; Walmart contributes spaghetti sauce, spices, butter, and so on; the Great Alaska Pizza Company offers breadsticks; Kaladi Brothers provides coffee; and Mat-Su Water donates two five-gallon jugs of water.
Each event will feature door prizes contributed by local companies, including gift certificates for two different tattoo parlors, the Extreme Fun Center, the Tub House, and Subway.
“There’s so much there, if you come with a group, someone is gonna’ get something,” Butts said.
At least 100 people go through the doors at the Spaghetti Feed, according to Butts. He said that some just stop by to donate while others stick around to snack and socialize with their tight-knit circle of friends and family and the emerging public.
Glen and his wife, Natalie prepare the meals (mainly Natalie), prepping a mountain of giant, homemade meatballs. This year, Glen is doing most of the cooking since Natalie is recovering from Multiple Sclerosis treatments. While she gets her rest, he takes care of their two children and keeps the flame of charity burning as he waits for the snow to melt so he can get back on the road.
Natalie often jokes that Glen’s Biker Elves and Bikers Against Hunger events keep him busy in the offseason. Butts said that he used to “live a different life” and has since changed his ways. This is part of the journey to be better person than he used to be — a sentiment often seen with the rough around the edges, reformed bikers in the Mat-Su who turn out to be softer in the heart than they lead on.
“It’s something that’s good for the community,” he says. “If I can do it then — why not?”