Watch above: The annual Biker’s Toy Run works with the Salvation Army to help prepare ahead for the holiday season. As Jacqueline Wilson reports, motorcycling enthusiasts came together in Saskatoon for a good cause Saturday.
SASKATOON – Motorcycling enthusiasts came together in Saskatoon Saturday for a good cause. The annual Biker’s Toy Run works with the Salvation Army to help prepare for the holiday season.
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It may be the Labour Day weekend, but a pack of 80 motorcyclists roaring down the streets were showing their Christmas spirit, collecting toys for boys and girls aged 12 and under.
“This is a great cause and we wanted to come out and bring joy to kids at Christmas time. Otherwise they’d be missing out on something like a new toy under their tree. It was just an opportunity as a motorcycle enthusiast to get out,” said participant Dave Chalmers.
“We don’t care if it is raining. It is just one of those things we can do to make life a little bit better for someone else.”
Every year, bikers strap new and unwrapped toys to their motorcycles and drive across the city to donate to The Salvation Army. This year, the group started at the Marquis Downs Cook Shack with a pancake breakfast and made their way to the Saskatoon Inn.
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Darlene Buyck has been riding a motorcycle for 63 years and has participated in almost every Biker’s Toy Run.
“I have two little wagons, one for a girl and one for a boy. I have a game for a boy. I have some Barbie dolls for a girl and for an older girl I have a latch hook kit,” said Buyck.
The toys will be distributed through the Salvation Army’s “Adopt-A-Family” Christmas assistance program.
Guy Lumsden has been organizing the event for the past 11 years and keeps doing it because he knows the joy the toys bring.
“Christmas is a great time. Unless you’re going to school in Grade 3, 4, 5 and your friends are talking about all of the toys they’re getting and you’ve got nothing to talk about. It can make it not such a fun time of year,” said Lumsden.
“To me it isn’t just about the toys; it’s about letting the kids know they’re cared about.”
About 100 people participated in the event and to organizers they are 100 big-hearted, bike-riding elves.
“It’s hugely important. It’s our main source of toy collection. It starts in September now, because we need the time the time to get the collection ready for the toy shop. But yeah, we really depend on the toys coming in today,” said Debra Prosofsky, Christmas toy coordinator.
Normally about 300 to 400 motorcyclists participate in the toy run, but because of the rain this year only 80 showed up.
If you’d like to join these helpers, new and unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Saskatoon Salvation Army Community Centre.
In November, the Salvation Army will also have toy collection bins at participating businesses throughout Saskatoon.