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Santa Claus is coming to town … and he’s riding a motorcycle

Motorcycle Santa Claus, aka Bill Bilbrey, sets up his Honda Goldwing outside the Quality Inn of Marble Falls during a test run in preparation for the motel’s annual blanket and food drive celebration. Motorcycle Santa Claus will make an appearance at the Quality Inn on Dec. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. so children can get their Christmas list to him. People can also drop off blankets and non-perishable food items, which will go to several Highland Lakes food pantries and nonprofit organizations. The inn is located at 1206 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls (just south of the Mission Hills-281 intersection.) Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

KINGSLAND — Bill Bilbrey witnessed first hand how, for some children, Christmas can come and go without presents.

But he wasn’t one to sit back, shrug and say, “It’s somebody else’s problem.” Instead, six years ago, he first donned a white beard and red suit and hopped on his motorcycle in December and became Motorcycle Santa Claus, delivering toys and gifts to boys and girls across the Highland Lakes.

“You should just see the kids when I pull up,” he said with laugh. “I just open my trailer and let them dive in. I think I enjoy it more than the kids do.”

Bilberry and his wife, Cindy Westbrook, reach out to several local businesses each year for donation. Most respond with items, usually small toys and other things. What they don’t get from businesses, the couple just dips into their own pockets to cover.

“We probably get 80 percent from a few stores, the other 20 percent we pay for ourselves,” Bilberry said. “But we see it as something that really makes a difference in a kid’s life.”

Bilbrey gets names of families who might need a little Christmas cheer and then starts collecting the toys and gifts. Many of the children, he said, have been victims of crimes. As the organizers of the local Tree of Angels, which honors the lives of area residents lost to violent crimes, Bilbrey and Westbrook have big spots in their hearts for anybody victimized, especially children.

Last year, Bilbrey upgraded to his current ride, a custom Honda Goldwing trike with a matching trailer.

If you’re out on the road this December, you can’t miss him. He’s the one in the red suit, antlers mounted on the front of the trike and Santa flags blowing in the wind.

For kids looking to visit with Motorcycle Santa Claus, he’ll be making a special appearance at the Quality Inn of Marble Falls, 1206 U.S. 281 (just south of the Mission Hills and 281 intersection) on Dec. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The motel is holding an open house during that time to wrap up its annual blanket and food drive.

“I just love helping the kids,” Bilbrey said. “And this is a great time of the year to do it.”

daniel@thepicayune.com

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