Published December 27, 2013
The spirit of the season
By Maria Allard email@example.com
WARREN — They’re known as Sir Graves, Wolf and Tombstone when hitting the open road on their motorcycles, but this past Christmas, one local family dubbed them Santa Claus.
The Exiled Saints Motorcycle Club Macomb County chapter — which consists of police officers, military veterans and emergency medical service personnel — made sure the family that had fallen on hard times enjoyed a holly jolly Christmas.
When the club members learned the children’s father was injured earlier this year in a work-related accident, money was scarce and the family might lose their home, the Exited Saints members “adopted” the family this holiday season.
On Dec. 22, they drove from their clubhouse in Warren to Washington Township to deliver a bundle of Christmas presents to an excited 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy who otherwise would gone without. Someone even dressed like Santa for the big event.
“It turned out really good,” said club President Derick “Sir Graves” Suppon, of Detroit. “When we took the gifts in, it was beautiful. The kids were just so surprised to see Santa and us.”
“This is the first time we did this,” club Vice President and Wayne County deputy Robert “Animal” James said. “What we do off-duty is we try to give back to the community as much as we can. We always like to come to the aid of somebody.”
Since forming one year ago, the club members have found ways to accomplish that goal. Providing Christmas to a family in need was tops on their list. With their own money, each club member hustled and bustled through local stores to pick out presents for the kids. Club members said they only purchased items for the children at the parent’s request.
On Dec. 15, the Exiled Saints gathered at the clubhouse to wrap a tabletop full of gifts. The good deed brought back memories for security officer Ross “Wolf” Munn, of Eastpointe, whose family once received assistance during the holiday season years ago.
“When our kids were small, we were in that position where we needed help,” Munn said of himself and his wife, Rebecca “Kitty” Nunn. “A school donated for us. It was nice to return the favor. I think they’re going to be ecstatic. They’re going to be surprised at the volume of presents.”
Pattye Markle, a mother of five, knows that feeling. Her children received gifts from others when she fell on difficult times in past years.
“It’s a relief on the parents to know there really is a Santa Claus out there,” said Markle, who is engaged to club member Kevin “Old Syde” Byrnes, of Warren.
“We got into the club for this purpose,” said Byrnes, who works for the Wayne County Sherriff’s Department. “The public doesn’t see us as heroes anymore. The only time people see police is when they’ve done something wrong.”
Also among those helping to wrap were Dave “Creeper” Pollet, of St. Clair Shores; Mike Colangelo, of Clinton Township; and Chet and Samia Creslaw, of Southfield.
The Exiled Saints Motorcycle Club Macomb County chapter meets once a month. The club’s mission is to promote honor, loyalty and brotherhood. The female members are known as the Exiled Saints Ladies. Although they’ve put their bikes away for the winter, when the warm weather calls, they’ll answer.
Ed “Tombstone” Pollet always enjoys his time with the club and riding with the guys and gals.
“It’s just the camaraderie, the brotherhood,” he said. “If you had a bad day, you get on a bike, everything seems to disappear. It’s a feeling you don’t get in an automobile.”
For more information on the Exiled Saints Motorcycle Club, visit www.exiledsaintslemc.com. The club also has a Facebook page.