OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) – Gunners Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club of Auburn delivered nearly 200 bikes to children in east Alabama Sunday – all in honor of William Buechner, an Auburn police officer killed in the line of duty in May 2019.
Smiles, laughter, and excitement filled the parking lot of the Lee County Judicial Center in Opelika on Sunday as 180 children received brand-new bicycles and a picture with Santa.
Buechner’s memory is stamped on each bike given out.
“It means a lot to us and I’m pretty sure getting a brand-new bicycle means a lot to them,” said Rueben Garza, president of Gunners. “And I think later down the road, if they don’t ride a motorcycle, they will remember this and get a bike for somebody else.”
The Gunners Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club gave bikes to the Big House, the Esperanza House, and the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch. The club worked tirelessly for months to raise the money for these bikes.
“So, the community helped us raise over $15,000 to purchase roughly a little bit over 180 bikes,” Garza said.
“This means a lot to the Gunners of Auburn,” he added. “Carrying out his legacy is the most important thing we are trying to accomplish today.”
The bikes are making the lives of children just a little better.
“I’m thankful and grateful that I got a new bike,” one child said.
“I got a new bike and I’m thankful for everybody to get me a new bike,” another child expressed.
“This is different because now I have my own bike and I don’t have to keep borrowing other bikes, another kid explained.
This becoming a tradition the Gunners Auburn motorcycle club wants to continue.
“If Will was here, to think about all of the things he did before he left us – right now he is smiling,” Garza said.
Next year, the Gunners Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club is hoping to expand and give bikes to several other organizations as well.
Copyright 2021 WTVM. All rights reserved.