Members of the Bad Boyz and Girlz 4 Ever motorcycle club gathered in East Austin Saturday for their fourth annual Easter celebration.
The motorcycle club, with the help of Boys and Girls Club of Austin, put on a family-friendly celebration including an Easter egg hunt, an Easter bunny, and a toy and bicycle give-away. Almost 70 children, most from nearby neighborhoods, came to participate.
“It's an experience,” says the Boys and Girls Club's Leo Santana. “The children see [motorcycles] on YouTube, they see them in movies, but they don't see people that actually look like or seem like them. Then, they see them [here] acting responsibly, they see them being honest, and they see them giving back to the community.”
The motorcycle club is built around a theme of community service. “Everybody that's in the club, we're doing it from our heart,” club president Robert Waters says. “So if it's not in your heart to give back to the community, then you're in the wrong club.”
Waters said his inspiration for the club's activities is rooted in his family's struggles when he was young.
“I always had it in my heart to feel like if I could help someone, I'll help them," he says. "I'm quite sure there were times that my mom needed help.”
“I'm a regular mom, working in the day time and taking care of my kids,” member Katrina Holmes said. “This is my hobby, something that helps me to still be myself when it's hard, when you have to deal with those everyday life struggles.”
The motorcycle club also has outreach programs throughout the year. Its members help feed the homeless, do toy drives, food drives, mentor children and more.
“For Mother's Day, we go out to nursing homes, like six or seven nursing homes, and pass out roses to all the mothers,” Waters says. “I think we touch a lot of hearts when we do that.”