Bikers among those pushing to make drive 'extreme' success


by Brian Farrell

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 8:25 AM

NORFOLK -- Chesapeake Riders Motorcycle Club dropped 3,400 pounds Tuesday, and a lot of families in Hampton Roads will benefit because of it.

"This is the peak of our day, because we're helping people," says Gloria "Sweet Cheeks" Mack, "and it warms our heart."

The group is among many in the area trying to make sure the food drive coinciding with the visit of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a huge success.

"I've been in this area for about 13 years," says Joanne Batson, CEO of The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, "and I have never seen the community come together like this. It is, truly, a defining moment in the time I've been here, just unbelievable.

The goal of the drive is to collect 307,000 pounds of food which will be shared by The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, and Food Bank of the Albemarle.

The amount may sound like a huge amount, but Batson points out her organization distributes more than 1,000,000 pounds of food each month.

"In January and February, when people are not really thinking about the holiday dinners, the donations go down, so this could not come at a better time," Batson tells 13News. "It's just absolutely phenomenal."

"The tiredness and the pain will be for a good cause, and as long as it's for a good cause, that's very good," notes Calvin "Cool Pop" Parker as he helps offload the Chesapeake Riders' bus.

"As I see that all the crates and everything, I just feel so blessed that I know somebody that's not gonna go hungry," Teresa "Cupcakes" King shares.

"We did a good job. We helped a lot of people in Hampton Roads, and that makes us feel good," says Mack.

As of late Tuesday, Batson says the drive was about halfway to its goal of 307,000 pounds. It runs through February 5.