Rebuts Big E
This letter is to answer the problems “Big E” has with the ABATE Toy Run ( Eric Rutherford’s Ridin’ with Big E column, Jan. 10). First of all, maybe if he would attend a meeting now and then, he would know that a club member was voted in as Coordinator and the club members and dedicated few are the ones who are always there for ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) functions even if it is with their last dollar. The clubs have ridden together always and you line up as you arrive. Our Santa, “Ray”, who we thank for always helping us, is in front leading the parade and the ABATE officers are next. The Clubs do ride after officers , but again, they ride as one. If you felt like Rosa Parks, then maybe you should have arrived sooner.
As “Big E” states, we are not responsible for people on the roadside or costumes. ABATE would like to see more support for that as well.
Now, Police Escort: We thank the officers that were there and helped, however, just days before the run, we were informed by higher up that we would not have enough officers available to cover our ride safely, so Surfside Wrecker offered to help. Officers in the past have leap-frogged for this event, which they are no longer permitted to do, so the trucks took that part over and was totally legitimate.
We no longer go into Myrtle Beach McDonald’s because of City of Myrtle Beach costs that would be taken away from the children’s fund. It costs 4 officers a minimum of 4 hours (costing over $100 each officer). Plus, we have to have an insurance policy which has been paid for in the past by Dog House Donnie (Emery), but since he no longer owns the Dog House, he does not qualify for the insurance policy. We give him our thanks for all those years that he did pay for that insurance policy.
If anyone would like to pay about $1,000 or more just to ride three blocks into Myrtle Beach, then by all means, contact ABATE - we would love the longer ride as well.
The after-party was (hosted by) a new owner of Beer 30 (Bar and Grill in Surfside Beach) and I really do think they didn’t know what to expect, but they did their best and we thank them for it.
Just a suggestion; maybe if "Big E” would have gone to our Web site ( www.abateofhorrycounty.com) and contacted our actual current officers more than one day before writing his column or had actually brought these points to the officers during the run, he would have gotten answers and would not have felt the need to bad-mouth us in the paper.
If anyone feels they could do a better job than we are doing, then by all means, we are always accepting new members and new ideas, but don’t blame us for problems beyond our control. I start contacting schools and the police departments in September for our December Run and get late responses, but at least we handle those problems as best as we can and get the kids their presents. After all isn’t that what the Toy Run is all about - THE KIDS? (The Toy Run and helped over 800 needy Horry County children.)
- ABATE of Horry County