Around Acadiana

Dec 21, 2013 9:17 PM by Alex Labat

Ibera Parish Woman Spreads Christmas Cheer to Families in Need

The only thing that many were asking for this weekend was another Cajuns win, but for other families in need, having something to put under the Christmas tree is a daunting task this Christmas. That's why one New Iberia woman is doing her part to help dozens of families. Last week, we brought you the story of Marian Beinvenu, who was teaming up with more than 50 bikers and other volunteers to wrap presents for families in need of assistance this Christmas. A mission that started three years ago, Marian has gone from helping one family to more than 20 families, with 51 children receiving gifts this Christmas.

Volunteers gathered Saturday for a moment of silence right before hopping on their bikes to deliver some holiday cheer. "First year was one family, last year was seven families, and this year it's over 20 families, I can't even count anymore. And over 60 kids", says Marian Beinvenu, lead organizer for the event. With such a groundswell of volunteers, Beinvenu has been able to help more families than ever this year, something that would have made Erin LaSalle very happy. "We're going to ride in memory of her. Erin LaSalle this year", says Beinvenu.

The 17-year-old was killed in a car crash back in September, and Saturday's ride was held in her memory. Those joining in the ride are the LA Riders and Freedom Biker Church, who say the only thing cooler than hopping on a bike, is hopping off of one to give a family the Christmas they deserve. "Yeah bikers do get a bad wrap by being "bad boys". But today it's not about being a bad boy, it's about giving back to the community and we're just so blessed to be a part of it", says Rowdy Daigle, pastor with the Freedom Biker Church.

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