In what has become an annual tradition, the folks at Yamaha Motor Corporation hosted a holiday gathering outside its U.S. headquarters in Southern California. The soiree is a chance for employees to meet a few of Yamaha’s factory-sponsored racers from past and present, as well as raise money for the Feed The Children, a non-profit organization that helps out children and families with food and other essentials in America and internationally.
“Feed The Children has been our corporate charity for many years,” said Bob Starr, spokesman and Communications Manager for the U.S. arm of the Japanese powersport giant. “We thought at the end of the year around the holidays, we’d bring everyone together and offer our employees the opportunity to offer a little donation. And it has just sort of built over the years. There is hundreds of hungry people right here in Orange County that really need it badly [help], so it couldn’t come at a better time.”
“It’s great to meet everyone,” says long-time Yamaha rider and recently crowned AMA Superbike champ, Josh Herrin. “The coolest thing for me is to meet all the other racers, who you don’t really get a chance to meet. Usually, we make pancakes for employees in the morning but this year the catered it [laughs].”
Joining Herrin, who will compete in the international Moto2 class with the newly established Caterham team, was this year’s Daytona SportBike champ, Cameron Beaubier as well as reigning Women’s Motocross champ, Jessica Patterson and two-time ATV motocross champ Chad Wienen. Past champions including three-time 500cc GP road racing champ Kenny Roberts and motocross legend, Gary Jones, who still actively competes in vet classes at the ripe old age of 61, were also on-hand.
Yamaha-sponsored stunt rider, Bill Dixon also put on quite the show inside the parking lot stunt pulling a variety of tricks on a Zuma scooter, Star cruiser and YZF-R6 sportbike. All told, Yamaha employees rose just over a $100,000 to the Feed The Children organization.