It was a hot July 4th weekend and the Vagos MC was holding a little family get-together in celebration of Independence Day. It was the typical biker clambake with everyone laughing and partying and having a great time, up until the accident.
9-year old CheyAnne, daughter of Vagos member “Zilla”, was playing in the dirt, digging a hole with her friend. As her friend went to find some water to pour in the hole, another Vagos member was just leaving in his truck. He couldn’t see CheyAnne from the cab as he backed the tall pickup through a wide arc. The wheel of the pickup rolled over CheyAnne’s head, ripping the flesh off the left side of her face.
After a few anxious hours that included trips via both ambulance and helicopter, doctors determined that CheyAnne’s injuries were mostly comprised of tissue damage to her face; she had miraculously escaped any crippling injuries. That was the good news; the bad news was that the damage to the facial tissue was severe enough to leave her permanently disfigured, unless extensive plastic surgery is performed.
Fast forward to August 5th. “Zilla’s” Vagos brothers held a benefit party at the Fraternal Order of Eagles’ clubhouse in Las Vegas to raise funds for CheyAnne’s medical expenses; hopefully enough to even pay for the needed plastic surgery.
The event started at noon and things were already rockin’ pretty good when I arrived around 12:30. The band was laying down some foot tappin’ rock & roll and the kiddies were having fun playing on the merry-go-round, while a few daring fastball pitchers tried their best to drop the Vagos’ chapter president in the dunk tank. $20 was the requested donation, which also provided a sumptuous repast of BBQ brisket and pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese, really delicious baked beans and corn on the cob. Your choice of beer, soda or bottled water was included, as well as one raffle ticket. These were some of the best eats I have yet encountered at one of these shindigs. Kudos to the Vagos for doing it up right!
I spied a number of other patch holders milling about, including Mix Breed, Red Riderz, Bikers For Christ, Soldiers For Jesus and at least one Bandito, but I left around 3:00 and I understand a lot more riders showed up later and the party was still going at 8:00 PM when my wife rode by on her way home from work.
I got to meet CheyAnne and her dad and chatted with them awhile. She’s a really terrific little girl and you’d never know she recently went through such an ordeal, if it weren’t for the heavy scaring on her face. She’s a bright, happy kid and I think she was having the best time of anyone there.
Elvis took the stage to sing a few tunes, after which he read off some of the winning raffle numbers, ably assisted by CheyAnne herself. I found out Elvis’ secret identity is that of Brad Pihlak, who is in his 6th year of professional Elvis-hood. Unlike some Elvi, this one can actually sing! He also appears in the new film, Tales of the Catholic Church of Elvis, which debuts at the Cannes Film Festival and will soon after open in a theater near you.
Once again the biker community has stepped up to help out one of its’ own and that’s something we all can take pride in. If you would like to offer support to CheyAnne and her family, you can make a contribution by contacting the following:
CheyAnne Nalder Benefit Acct. c/o Silver State Bank 170 S Rainbow Las Vegas, NV 89145 • (702) 949-6850