Douglas motorcycle club pays off school district lunch debt |

Douglas motorcycle club pays off school district lunch debt

Motorcycle clubs often receive a reputation of being associated with gangs, violence and crime, but one Douglas County club is trying to portray themselves as the opposite.

Douglas County POBOB motorcycle club recently paid off the school district’s lunch money debt at all 12 Douglas County schools, said Gardnerville members Brett “Sparky” Mattei and Marlon “Patch” Bergeron.

Members said the proceeds came from the club’s second annual crab feed at Carson City’s Fuji Park earlier this month.

“We all have families here and kids in the schools, so it was important to us,” said Bergeron.

Bergeron said the club received hand-written thank-you letters from the kids and principals and received invitations to come to a few of the schools.

“That was really cool and a real table changer,” said Mattei. “Here we are thought of as a street gang and then we’re being recognized as the opposite and being invited to the schools. It’s really an amazing feeling.”

In the past the club has donated school supplies to Scarselli and Gardnerville elementary schools and has participated with Back Pack Buddies.

“We focus primarily on Douglas County, but in the end it’s just about giving,” said Mattei.

The POBOB motorcycle club was one of the earliest motorcycle and car clubs in the 1940s originated in San Bernardino, Calif., by military veterans coming home from World War II, said Bergeron.

When the club first started out, negative opinions were brought to attention after such riots as the Hollister riot, which ultimately helped give rise to the outlaw biker image.

Later, the American Motorcyclist Association made a statement that 99 percent of the motorcyclists are good people enjoying a clean sport and it is the 1 percent that give the rest a bad reputation.

Now, the club has multiple chapters throughout the western United States who continue to portray a positive image in their communities.

“We just like to ride our motorcycles and give to local charities,” said Mattei.

The POBOB motorcycle club Douglas County chapter has been active for at least 15 years, said Bergeron.

“We’re going to keep doing it,” said Bergeron. “We want to give to the community and be liked. It makes us feel good knowing we’re doing good.”

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