Motorcycle enthusiasts of all types are invited out to take part in the 5th annual H.O.G. toy run.
The event takes place on September 9 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. beginning at Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson.. Volunteers from the Red Deer Christmas Bureau will be on hand to serve up pancake breakfast to anyone who stops by with a donation.
All you need to bring to take part in the ride itself is a toy donation.
“It’s important for us [to help the Christmas Bureau] because we think everyone should be able to have a Christmas and with the way that things have gone in the economy in the last few years the bureau has just been flooded. It definitely has a high use in our city so we try out best to help them out in any way we can and bring awareness to their case,” said Fonda Devereaux, Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson marketing manager.
Devereaux said while this tends to be a bit of a cooler time of year for the ride, they still find the Toy Run to be well attended with some of the avid motorcycle enthusiasts in the area.
The ride is entirely weather dependent and Devereaux said they anticipate leaving around 11 a.m. for the ride and returning somewhere around 2 p.m.
“Even if you’re not planning on joining us on the toy run, we are more than happy to accept donations the week before. New toys are preferable but gently used toys are okay as well,” she said.
The Red Deer Christmas Bureau could not be more grateful for the involvement of Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson, saying this event comes at an ideal time as they kick off their season.
“The businesses in Red Deer are so community-minded. We are still here…and hoping that this year is as successful as last year was, Red Deer was so generous helping out because you know things haven’t been so great,” said Red Deer Christmas Bureau president Teresa Kutynec.
The Christmas Bureau is completely non-profit and Kutynec said when businesses host these types of events it’s a huge deal. The Toy Run, which in previous years has collected upwards of 100 toys and $ 5000-6000 in monetary donations, is the first fundraiser for the bureau for the year.
“It’s very significant. All of these little fundraisers end up being a huge deal for us,” said Kutynec.
Last year the bureau saw a nearly 20% increase in the number of children they helped. About 1,200 families were helped through the generosity of Red Deer residents and businesses donating to the Christmas bureau.
“We are hoping it’s going to be a little bit less this year, but you know again, Red Deer is so good about helping all of the organizations in Red Deer to make sure that everybody gets help and nobody gets left out.”