Mt. Soledad Bike Blessing & Bandit’s Blood Drive

Story by Pastor Z. and Lisa Dalgaard, photos by Pastor Z. and Randy Twells

20150606_145517_001_resizedIt was a beautiful morning as we rolled out from Oceanside to head for San Diego Harley Davidson for the annual Mt. Soledad Bike Blessing and Blood Drive. A pack of motorcycles and our black “Urban Assault Vehicle” – the BFC van (commandeered by BFC sister -Shylo) rolled the 40 miles south down the 5 Fwy to San Diego. We arrived early and there were already over 100 bikes in the parking lot… and excitement was in the air… as the dozens of motorcycles of all brands continued to roll in. We had a crew setting up the PA system, and band equipment (my bass amp & Phil’s guitar rig) for the “Full Throttle Band”. SD BFC “Diesel” and his team did a great job. The other members of the band started rolling in and setting up their gear as well. We were blessed to have our original drummer: Danny Wasson with us. Danny is an incredible Rock N’ Roll drummer who actually plays in multiple bands – he’s a busy boy. So we actually have a few different drummers now that work with the band.

I got to meet Eric Turner – (one of the original guitarists for the super group “Warrant”), his son, Noah, and Eric’s wife Kristina. It was a lot of fun for me to introduce “Eric Turner – to – Eric Turner” (our guitarist/singer in the Full Throttle Band)… It was an absolute riot… So we called them: Eric A., and Eric B. Turner (for their middle names).

458741_10206733743207406_8511990563046688901_oAs the pastor for the event, they wanted my bike in line up toward the front, as we got ready to head up to Mt. Soledad with the hundreds of motorcycles. We’d like to thank New York Myke and his beautiful wife Petrina, “Wayne-O” President of the Messengers M/C, and “Hollywood George” also of the Messengers M/C (as our Grand Marshalls for the ride). We’d also like to thank everyone at San Diego Harley Davidson who sponsor this rally each year, and the Messengers M/C for traffic-blocking, and leading the way up to Mt. Soledad. You guys rock !

It was a beautiful ride up the mountain… and crystal clear in the visibility department. Those that had never been on the top of Mt. Soledad were totally blown away by the 360 degree view of the La Jolla coastline, the Pacific Ocean, and San Diego. It is truly breath-taking. It is one of the prettiest attractions in San Diego county, and it is also a Veterans Memorial – with plaques, pictures and names of many who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. It is truly “Hallowed and Sanctified” ground.

I opened the event with prayer, followed by: A 14 yr. old named Noah Turner with an incredible voice who sang the “Star Spangled Banner”, as his proud parents Eric B. Turner from “Warrant” and his beautiful wife: Kristina looked on. His rendition touched the hearts of the bikers and vets who gathered for the Bike Blessing. Noah will probably be heading for “American Idol”, or other competitions – as he is an amazing talent. We had some amazing speakers: Larry Wilske, a retired Navy SEAL who is now executive director of the Mt Soledad Association., and he talked about the fact that the Association is actually buying the property, which should guarantee that the Memorial with it’s 60 foot white Latin Cross will stay on that mountain indefinitely.

11393584_10206733742607391_1837062322381920549_oNext up was BFC’s own: “Gunny” James Lee who spoke about all the he experienced: He joined the Marine Corps… wanting to serve his country and give back to preserve our freedoms, and doing multiple tours to the Middle East to do so, serving over 20 years. He experienced PTSD and other things that troubled his mind and heart. When he asked God to help him, he prayed and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to touch him and heal his mind and heart and through God’s healing touch – things got much better for Gunny.

New York Myke (a Vietnam Vet) got the crowd all fired up, as he shared passionately about his love for our country, and the need for Americans to wake up, band together, and be willing to stand up and fight for our freedoms – lest we lose them all.

After the short speeches, I shared a prayer for the bikers and their machines. Then we all headed down the mountain and we went back to the Harley shop for the “After Party”. So the “Thunder Came Down the Mountain” back to the shop where there was a party going on.

DSC_0067The San Diego Blood Bank mobile was on hand for: Bandit’s Blood Drive (in memory of Bandit the Biker Dog – who passed away). Mark who owned Bandit now owns “Chopper” the Biker Dog who has his own website ( ). Chopper was on hand to give comfort to all who were donating blood that day, and he got a real work out.

The Blood Drive Benefit was for one of SDHD’s own, a beautiful young lady who works in the Motor Clothes department named Aimee. Here’s some history on Aimee and her condition. Aimee Holmes has Aplastic Anemia. It’s a very rare auto immune disorder that is idiopathic which means the original has unknown pathogens. Basically, her bone marrow and the blood stem cells that reside there are damaged. This causes a deficiency of all three blood cell types Red, white and platelets. This condition, if left untreated can be fatal but Aimee caught it just in time. She has needed and will continue to need blood transfusions. NY Myke shared with us that when Aimee goes in for her treatments, she comes back to work with a very loving and cheerful attitude. That is one reason that everyone at the shop, and so many others wanted to help Aimee in the situation. She is a truly amazing young lady.

So the 120 pints of blood collected at the rally will really help restock the supply for her and those who need blood. The event was a huge success as the bikers and others showed their love for Aimee. It was also a witness of the power and energy in the incredible ways that Biker events help charities and their communities. Everyone ate some wonderful food provided by the ministry “Five Loaves and Two Fish”. The Full Throttle Band rocked the parking lot. And there were many community organizations that all worked together to make it a great event. All in all, it was a really beautiful event.