Members from the Pecos Valley Chapter of Guardians of the Children in Artesia were joined on Saturday by several members from Texas chapters for the inauguration of the newest group of bikers who work to educate the public to recognize and react to child abuse. (Randal Seyler Photo)
Artesia became home to the Pecos Valley Chapter of Guardians of the Children, a nonprofit organization of motorcycle enthusiasts who work to educate the public to recognize and react to child abuse.
“Children and motorcycles, those are our two passions,” said Harry “Jewels” Lindgren, past president of the San Antonio Chapter of GOC. Lindgren was in Artesia along with a number of other organization officers who were in town on Saturday for the inauguration of Chapter 29 of the Guardians of the Children.
The mission of GOC is to recognize and react to child abuse and educate the public to do the same, and to serve as advocates to provide strength and stability to families in crisis, according to the website, guardiansofthechildren.com.
The organization wants to be an answer to the prayer of an abused child or teen for courage, support and protection.
The GOC serves as a public benefit organization, according to the website. The group’s vision is to improve the quality of life in its members’ communities by educating the public and making them aware of the steps to take in order to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child abuse.
GOC is a biker organization also dedicated to protecting the victims of child abuse. The group’s alliance as bikers allow it the ability to call upon resources that might not generally be available to the public at large, according to the website.
The organization was founded by Ruben “BammBamm” Cano of San Antonio in 2006, and has grown to nearly 30 chapters. He was on hand for Saturday’s meeting, along with about 30 other members, for a “patching in” ceremony for the Artesia group.
Chris “Rocket” Logan and Michael “Cowboy” Parson serve as the president and vice president, respectively, of the new Artesia chapter, and Parson said he contacted Cano about starting a local branch of the organization after a friend in Wichita Falls, Texas, suggested the organization would be something he would be interested in joining.
GOC has chapters in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Minnesota and Oklahoma, according to the website.
The organization partners with children advocacy agencies, victim assistance groups and others to raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse. GOC members also assist these agencies by being one of many resources available to them and introduces the child to the organization determined as the most beneficial in order to lend support to their family and at the same time protect that child.
“We have introduced ourselves to CASA in Artesia, Roswell and Carlsbad, and we want to be a resource for those organizations,” Logan said. The group is planning a fundraising baseball tournament in Lovington on May 31 and June 1.
“As a nonprofit, we have to raise any funds we use for our programs,” Cano said. The organization typically also holds motorcycle rallies and rides as fundraising projects.
The Pecos Valley Chapter will meet at 5 p.m. every second Saturday of the month at a location that has yet to be determined, and interested persons are invited to attend the meetings, Logan said.
Anyone interested in joining GOC may contact Logan at 432-553-7020 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.