Other

A Sea of Santa’s..on Harleys-Small Businesses Giving Back

The Overnight Prints Spa Play day for Dogs charity event stemmed from an exhilarating charity toy ride that I participated in last Christmas:

  • It was late November 2012.  The beach town I live in was flush with leaping dolphins clad in Santa hats,   twinkling lights, and avid boaters welcoming the season with animated decorations. Christmas music permeated the airwaves. The seaside city had been transformed into a magical waterfront wonderland.
  •  I was feeling the spirit and wanted to team up with a local charity.  But it couldn’t be just any charity. It needed to be something that resonated with and inspired me.
  •  Enter Southern California Harley riders. I stumbled across an intriguing postcard  about a Santa Harley toy ride for needy children. This was the ticket!  This sounded like a blast, and an ingenious way to help kids.

Mind you I don’t own or ride a Harley. I just knew I wanted to do this.  I really had no idea what I was getting into. It just sounded too good to pass up.

Here comes Santa….on a Harley

Somewhere between 75 and 100 Harley riders and passengers were told to gather at a nearby pub at 7am on Christmas Eve morning. The only requirement was that we had to dress as Saint Nick, Mrs. Claus or Santa’s helper. I donned a brand new Mrs. Claus costume that I found on eBay, complete with long shiny, stiletto black boots. As I pulled up to the parking lot, dozens of Harley-riding Santa’s were posing for a group photo.  I captured the moment on film, and joined the festivities.

  • We were treated to hot coffee and a delicious breakfast buffet, courtesy of Fitzgerald’s Irish pub.
  • With full tummies, and warm toes, we began loading hundreds of toys that had been collected over the past two months, into knapsacks and bags. We filled the back of two U-Haul trucks with the colossal stack of bulging sacks.
  • Then, after a looooong thundering roar, (that only a herd of Harley’s could make) we were off. And dare I say, this endless caravan that spanned for miles gave Santa and his reindeer a ride for their money.

Imagine for a moment….. 85 big, burly, Santa’s and dozens of elves, with festive helmets and long leather boots, riding through the interchanges of Southern California on  chrome plated, boisterously loud Harley Davidson bikes.  We rode single file – in a caravan through the streets, boulevards and five lane freeways of Orange County, CA. Every rider was decked out. It was an array of Red Velvet, long white curly beards, leather Santa gloves and festive helmets. The elves were clad in green and red felt costumes with funny drooping hats and pointy green shoes.  What a sight! As this convoy rode through the highways and byways we literally stopped traffic! It was spectacular.

  • People of all ages and walks of life literally stopped in the middle of whatever they were doing, last minute shopping errands, talking on their phones, jogging, eating, whatever. They looked on in wonder to marvel and gasp at the illustrious sea of Santa’s.   And remember that Southern California freeways and streets are typically jam packed with the hustle and bustle of hurried, impatient drivers focused on getting to their destinations as quickly as possible. They certainly don’t have time or patience to stop for anything that’s going to slow them down.
  •  But THIS was profoundly different.  It felt like we were filming a slow motion movie.  Drivers fought to pull over to the shoulders and watch in awe –as the caravan of Santa’s were taking over the 405 freeway.  Viewers were star struck, grabbing their Smart phones and digital devices to capture as many images and videos as the moment would allow.After spreading laughter, love, shock and awe through the streets we headed for our main destination- The Orangewood home for Children.This part of the journey was dramatically breathtaking- A true moment in time!
  • We climbed off our Harleys’, lifted oodles of bulging toy-filled knapsacks over our shoulders and ho-ho-hoed our way to the front. We delivered hundreds of sacks stuffed with games, toys and bikes to the awe-struck children.
  • But it wasn’t going to be over anytime soon. We drove around the building to a courtyard in the back, and greeted the children with red and green lollypops. The braver kids that dared were allowed to climb aboard one of the dazzling machines. A low rumbling thunder was interspersed with the sounds of exhilarated children squealing with joy.

After about an hour or so of action packed activity the kids were beginning to fade. It was time for us to venture back. We formed our parade once again and took a detour through the Orange Circle in historic downtown Orange, drove in the slow lane of the Garden Grove freeway and meandered through a couple obscure side streets. We even got some waves and claps from a few homeless people! We ventured back to the coast and rode through the charming seaside town of Balboa Island, tossing out candy and smiles to passerby’s of all ages. We stopped for pictures on a number of occasions. We rode North on Pacific Coast highway to Main Street in Huntington Beach to for a final parade of sorts.  Then it was back to the pub’s to decompress and enjoy a hot lunch.

If you are a small business owner trying to market on a shoestring budget, you’re not alone. You don’t have to have all the bells and whistles in place to host a charity event. It just takes a little creativity. Ask your Facebook fans for ideas, or hold a contest. There are no bad ideas. Give the top three ideas a free service or product. Make sure to take lots of photos of the event so you can blog about it later, and maybe even use them to create promotional calendar, and inspire other small businesses to follow your footsteps.

By:Courtney Knapp

 

You Might Also Like

Become our No.1 Fan on Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook and Win 500 Free Business Cards!

More Wedding Products For Your Special Day!

In Las Vegas, Bigger is Better!

Stop traffic with captivating headlines

Skip The Rush By Shopping Small This Year

How to design and print custom CDs

5 ESSENTIAL TIPS ON CREATING MESSAGING FOR COMPANY GREETING CARDS

Make your Mark with Fresh Father’s Day Marketing

Spice up your Love Life with a Flirting Card

Taking Stock of Your Business Card Paper

The Perfect Greeting Card

17 Pot O’ Gold St. Patrick’s Day Promotions for Small Businesses

Magnetic Advertising

Start Being The Best You!

Rack Cards With A Twist

Blogger beware

Make A Statement With Your Business Card

Best Business Cards from Around the Web

FAQ’s about QR Codes

5 Best Custom Business Card ideas from Small Business Customers!

New Custom T-Shirts Designer Is Available!

Best business cards

Invitations & Announcements for Dads & Grads

Mommy Cards for Mothers Day

Death of the Business Card?

Postcard Marketing German Style:postkarten-drucken

Limited Edition Hero Cards to Commemorate Medal of Honor Recipients

Notepads now available from Overnight Prints

Comp Cards – What they are and how to print them!

Support Your Local Artists with Find Art Magazine

Overnight Prints Web Commercial – how we made it!

Overnight Prints is the fastest printer in the Universe!

LISTOMANIA!!!!!!

Gaining Awareness Without Breaking Your Bank

Increase The Productivity Of Your Business

Plan a Unique, Memorable Birthday Bash for your Little One

Free Halloween Party Flyer!!!

Summer Cleaning (Had Me a Blast)

postcard vs e-postcard

Top Sites and Useful Resources for Freelancers

A Business Card Different Than The Rest

Business Cards: Here today…Not Gone Tomorrow

12 Handy Print Marketing Tips for Better Branding

Brochure Minimalism

How To Execute A Great Las Vegas Summer Wedding

Harness the Power of National Optimism Month for your Small Business

Is Snail Mail Making a Comeback?

Top 5 list of Digital Designers you should know about!

Creative Ways To Decorate With Leftover Print Materials

Don’t Let Your Appetite Down

What To Consider When Creating A Logo And How Our Design Services Can Help

Networking for Introverts

Digital Printing vs. Offset Printing

Promote yourself – 50 self-promotional tips for Graphic Designers & Freelancers

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the prices are so delightful!

New Promo Items Are Available At Overnight Prints

New Years Party Essentials!

Flyer design – upload Photoshop flyer for free

Presenting the Pocket Folder

Avoid a marketing meltdown

How one photographer used savvy marketing to skyrocket his leads

Postcard Marketing 101 – Using Customer Testimonials

Overnight Prints Keeps it Green…You Can, too

Facebook Like and Dislike Stamps!

Print Marketing:What is your goal?

Give Something Special This Valentine’s Day

The Importance of Good Print quality when creating Photo Postcards

Roses are Red

CREATE PERSONALIZED NEW YEARS GREETING CARDS

Tips on Creating Direct Mail Services for your Small Business

Create a design portfolio booklet at Overnight Prints

Unleash you creativity and sleep peacefully

Super Invitations for the Super Big Game!

Tell Your Story With A Business Card

Expand Your Booklet Horizon

Stand Out From The Crowd By Using Spot-UV

Greeting Card design inspiration for Mothers Day

Mini Business Cards

Give Your Friends And Family More Than A Gift This Holiday Season

Halloween Print Products for October Promotions

Crazy March Media, Money & Marketing

Managing Design Projects – Surviving the Battle between Designer and Client

New Year, New Marketing Materials.

Stop Bailing on Mailing (Services)

Get creative with mini cards

The Pragmatic Entrepreneur: The Importance of Calculating CLV

Brochure Bonus Week

The Secret of QR Codes

New Product – Disappearing ink!

Design O’ the Times

Be A Showstopper At This Years Las Vegas MAGIC Convention

Kathy LaFollett- Customer Spotlight

PROMOTE YOUR DESIGN WORK ON FLICKR

We want to see your Design work!

Small / Local Businesses Should Take Advantage Of EDDM

Get Buzzy With Business Cards

Maryland Institute College Illustration Artists

QR Codes in Posters and Mini BCs

What Chlorine Free Means

Be our No.1 fan of Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr and Win!

Find Art Show

We Welcome all Overnight Prints Customers to our Blog

Help Keep America Green with Print Marketing

Back to School Ideas

It’s Time To Prepare For Spring Break In Las Vegas

Save the Planet and your Bottom Line

Overnight Prints Business Cards – Rated #1 for overall quality

20 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Books First

Artistic Genius Ben Kwok Speaks

Bookmarks/ Think Outside The Box

A Paperless Society

Establishing A Design, Establishes Your Company.

Family Business Cards

Overnight Prints is the fastest printer in the Universe!

MonaVie- A Product With A Purpose

It’s Not Too Late To Order Your Holiday Essentials!

“For being so awesome” 30% off MICA discount!

Setting and Attaining Realistic Goals

Create an ‘Etsy style’ Greeting Card in Photoshop

Address Labels are now available at OvernightPrints.com

What Can A Booklet Do For You?

Brilliant Art & Design Work

Black Friday Promotion – Spend $50 get $50

Should I Mobilize my Small Business Website

Host The Perfect Event – Using Overnight Prints

Las Vegas Quality Print Advertising

A Tribute to Ben Franklin

Overnight Prints Introduces Wrapping Paper To Product Line

Advertise Your Business Seamlessly With Chinese New Year!

Overnight Prints Magazine Discount

Steve Jobs 1979 business card

A Tasty Deal

Why use Digital Printing in Las Vegas?

Make Some Green with St. Patrick’s Day Sales Ideas

Shop the Story!