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Businesses, bikers benefit battered boy

Locals team up Sunday to raise money for Baby Angel Fund

Posted: August 5, 2009 8:55 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Santa Clarita Valley businesses and bikers are teaming up to raise money Sunday for a 4-year-old Bakersfield boy who suffered the loss of an eye after an alleged attack from his father.  

“Any time a child is abused or hurt, it gets in my jaw,” said Renegade Classics owner Tim Bossard, who organized the event with Maria Chiarello of Chiarello’s Catering and Sean McManama of Turtle Nation. “It was one of the worst things I had ever heard. I think a lot of people felt the same way about it.”

The Baby Angel Benefit Run for Angelo Mendoza Jr. starts 8 a.m. Sunday at Renegade Classics, 18712 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

The fate of Mendoza has inspired the charity. Bakersfield police reports detail that the boy was allegedly attacked and blinded by his wheelchair-bound father on April 28.

On June 4, The Bakersfield Californian reported that Mendoza had regained partial sight in his right eye. He is in a foster home and undergoing treatments from an ophthalmologist; his sight is expected to improve.

“People hear about it and they contribute,” Bossard said.  

As well as helping out someone in need, Bossard said he believes community events such as these are beneficial to all.  

“I think it’s a three-way win,” he said. “We help this little boy out, number one. For all the people who came on as sponsors, it is good advertising and a nice way to give back to the community. Three, everyone has a good time.”

In the past, Renegade Classics has organized runs to benefit organizations including Support Our Troops and an annual toy drive called the Elf Ride, which raised funds last year for the SCV Domestic Violence Center.

Bossard credits the biker culture with inspiring such generosity.

“Almost every single bike ride is a benefit,” he said. “A lot of times bikers get a bad rap, but a lot of them would give you their shirts off their back. They are very giving.”

Registration for the 90-mile Poker Run will start at 8 a.m. at Renegade Classics. Prices run $20 for riders and $15 for passengers.

Following the ride, participants are welcome to a party at nearby Route 66 Classic Grill, 18730 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

Local businesses such as The Drifters Cocktail Lounge, Moose Lodge 2173 and Allstate are sponsoring the event.  

Donations can be made out to Baby Angel Fund or online at

“It’s a tragedy that this had to happen,” Bossard said. “This is all about helping this little boy go forward.”


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