By Pastor Z., Bosco Nava, Todd Rocha and Lonny La Sand
Pictures by David Aguilar Photography and Pastor Z.
An awesome downed biker benefit, “Operation Restoration,” took place on Sunday Oct. 7th. We jumped on the bikes at 9 a.m., and set out on the ride from North San Diego to the Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country, CA near Santa Clarita (about 150 miles).
The event was the idea of Lonny La Sand, Todd Rocha, Bosco Nava and others to help some very close friends: Richard Alcala and Issac Cordova, who were both involved in motorcycle accidents in July. Richard and Issac both appeared in episodes of the FX show “Sons of Anarchy” as members of the Mayans MC.
Bosco Nava has been involved in putting together charity events for over forty years… and along with Todd, Lonny and a few other special friends – they knocked this event out of the ballpark!
Around 11 am, the motorcycles started rolling in from every direction to the restaurant. Hundreds of bikes were pouring into the parking lot. Many different types of riding groups, motorcycle clubs, social clubs and the motorcycle ministries were in attendance. Our group – Bikers for Christ – had a few dozen members there, from San Diego, the Inland Empire and Ventura.
Special guest celebrities & friends of Richie and Issac included: Emilio Rivera (an accomplished actor who was best known as “Marcus Alvarez” in Sons of Anarchy, Emilio now has a lead role in the new FX Network hit show “Mayans MC” as “El Padrino” – The Godfather), Yadi Rivera (Emilio’s wife), Frankie Loyal (an amazing actor portraying the Enforcer for the Mayans), Lonny La Sand and Eddie Cardenas (also from the S.O.A. show as Mayans), Big Lou Brazzo & Matt Bunch (from Auto Repo) and Jay Sendejas (my favorite– a fourteen-year-old who was hit by a car while walking on a sidewalk and was scarred forever).
Jay really wanted to meet Danny Trejo (Jay’s favorite actor) who could not make it to this event. I called Danny and told him about Jay –so Danny called Jay. Danny is a “class act!” The celebs put a lot of time in greeting the attendees, and signing lots of autographs to help raise funds.
Todd Rocha invited Sergio Gonzalez (drummer for Jennifer Lopez); he and Todd put together a group of musician friends from different bands for this occasion, who Todd as lead singer introduced as the the Allstar Band. They played some amazing music, and got the atmosphere chillin’. Some folks were dancing and others were enjoying the tri-tip sandwiches from Route 66. Then comedian Gilbert Esquivel helped relax the crowd with some humor.
As a pastor and close friend of those organizing the event, I was invited to share from the stage along with the guest celebrities and friends. They all shared heartfelt love for Issac and Richie and their families. Then I led everyone in a prayer for God’s blessings on the crowd, the families, and Richie and Issac’s continued healing. They had a large picture of Richie who was still in the hospital, and everyone was touched by the amazing amount of love and respect shown that day. There was a great raffle, a 50/50 and quite a few vendors. The music kept going, the celebs kept greeting folks and the $’s kept rolling in.
At the end of the day a total of $6,500 was raised at this amazing event. Richie’s and Isaac’s families were so thankful. This event and the attendees were truly blessed with a beautiful day, and lots of love.
Side note: The Mayans MC show is hitting huge numbers, and is already the #1 show on the FX Network. The Mayans had Sons of Anarchy cast members showing up throughout Season 1, and like its S.O.A. predecessor, the new show has a lot of hard twists and turns in the story line. Season 1 just ended – with S.O.A.’s “Happy” (David Labrada), & “Quinn” (Rusty Coones) both showing up, as invited, to a Mayans party. Mayan Prospect “EZ” played by J.D. Pardo (who is a power-hitter in this new show) recognizes “Happy” as the one who murdered his Mom. So Mayans Season 2 promises to have a lot of excitement, and more S.O.A. cast appearing in it. I’m pretty sure that even more of the S.O.A. fans will be hopping on board the Mayans train.