What comes to mind when you hear the word bikers? Probably most of the people think of big bearded guys and gangs. But not all bikers are outlaws who like to live on the edge. In fact there are bikers who try to break away from this stereotype. They try to live honorable lives and respect everyone around them. Mixtecas Motorcycle Club is definitely a place where stereotypes are broken and members are more like a family who is always there to help when needed.
Tony Pompa, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2006 and had gone to multiple tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, is the president of Mixtecas M.C. Silvis Chapter. He comes from a very patriotic family that has proudly served our country in many wars. In fact, his uncle and namesake Tony Pompa is one of the eight Hero Street heroes. Mr. Pompa his uncle Tony and his father Frank all served in the U.S. Army. Also, the Mixtecas Silvis Chapter is proud to have quite a few veteran members. And that is why you will see the Mixtecas M.C. members participating and volunteering at many of the local veteran’s events and at the Hero Street Memorial and Veterans Day celebrations.
The Mixtecas Motorcycle Club originated in Chicago in 1985, but according to Pompa members of Mixtecas had been visiting Silvis since the early 90s. In fact, unlike a beardy stereotype, some of the original members of the Chicago chapter were also members of the Mexican American Veteran Association (MAVA).
Tony Pompa remembers vividly those visits from the members of the Chicago Chapter.
“When Mixtecas started coming down here I was young and always looked at them and thought I wanted to do that, I wanted to be one of them,” he shared his memories.
He thought that it was something very great to be able to travel the country on a motorcycle and be a rebel, but it was not about rebellion.
“I saw the respect they gave to my parents, the patrons of the VFW and the visitors to Hero Street and most importantly to each other,” Pompa told.
Actually, Pompa will never forget the day when he had a talk with one of the members of the Mixtecas Chicago Chapter. When he was young his father wanted to see if they could sell him the vest members were wearing and the member requested to talk to young man who wanted that vest.
“He told me that the vest he wore with the Mixtecas warrior on it couldn’t be just bought. It had to be earned, and one day when I was old enough I could have the opportunity to earn one too. I took that to heart,” Tony Pompa shared one of his most favorite memories from his childhood.
When he grew up he got his chance to earn his very own vest. The Silvis chapter of Mixtecas Motorcycle Club was in the works since 2005. On January 27 of 2007 it was opened officially. Members of the Silvis chapter are more than just a group of people who shares their love for motorcycles and open road. They pride themselves in being a family.
“We embrace the brotherhood, comradely, and deep respect we have for one another,” Pompa said.
No matter whether it is a big problem like finances or small problem like taking care of kids, members of the Mixtecas Motorcycle Club are there to help each other. Even if one needs just someone to listen, they will be there just like a family would.
While taking care of their own, they do not forget about the community they live in. Tony Pompa shared that the club participates in various benefits throughout a year. Sometimes community members approach members of the Mixtecas asking for help. That is when members get together and make a decision if they would donate money or they might even put together their own event to collect the necessary amount. Come Christmas time and they make a goal of sponsoring one to three families. They buy gifts for a family in need and they involve their own kids in the process.
“We make it a point to bring our kids when we do the Christmas shopping and the wrapping so that they can see that Christmas is about giving and not receiving,” Pompa explained.
With all the negative stereotypes and labels of bikers for some people it is hard sometimes to imagine a biker who is more like a friend of the community. As Tony Pompa said they do enjoy riding their motorcycles, but they also take care of each other and try to show the community that they are honorable people who are active in their community.
“We strive to break the stereotype of Bikers. We are not a gang, we are a club. We have our own bylaws that dictate how we should act and represent ourselves to maintain the respect we get back from our community,” Tony Pompa said.
Yes, certainly there are bikers who fit the stereotypes, but not all of them are the same. The Mixtecas Motorcycle Club is a total opposite of the typical biker one would imagine. Mixtecas is a family where respect is earned, not given!
If you believe you have what it takes to be a member of this club you can either talk to one of the members or send an e-mail to Mixtecassilvis@gmail.com. Also, send a message to the same e-mail address for information about events and local fundraisers and benefits.