Paul James is a man on a motorcycle on a mission.
The Keremeos resident is looking for quite a few other good men and women to help him out in his quest.
James will be donning his summer Santa suit on Aug. 21 for the first of what he hopes will become an annual toy ride to generate gifts for needy kids at Christmas.
His charity of choice for the event is the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) to provide gifts for the children of abused and battered women.
“I really don’t know how many riders to expect, I’m hoping for maybe a 100, maybe more, maybe less. I’m looking for anybody who rides a motorcycle and wants to help charity,” said James, who is also a member of the Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Association (OMRA) which holds a similar ride each year in September.
“This is a totally different ride (than OMRA) for a totally different charity and that’s why we’re doing it at this time of year, so it doesn’t conflict with their ride,” said James. “It’s all about charity, it really is, it’s all about helping the kids.”
The day begins at 8 a.m. at the Penticton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion with a pancake breakfast with admission being a cash donation or unwrapped toy for a boy or girl.
“We’ll get on the road about 10 a.m. and do a three-hour ride to Osoyoos and back and have lunch by donation,” said James, who participated in similar events when he lived in Calgary before moving to the Okanagan several years ago.
He is also making a special request for those who can donate an item or two to bring articles which are more appropriate for older kids and teens.
“It always seems there are lots of stuffed toys so we would like to able to give them something a little different,” he said.
This year’s OMRA ride is the 29th annual South Okanagan Toy Run which takes place Sept. 18 starting with the Lions breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Peach in Rotary Park.
Toy drops where people can leave donations include Rotary Park, Summerland Secondary School (10:15 a.m.) the Oliver A&W (11:30 a.m.) and Okanagan Falls IGA (12:15 p.m.) and returning for Lions burgers at 1:30 p.m.
There will also be door prizes, 50/50 draw and Toonie auction.
All proceeds go to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
For more information that event contact Roy Colmer at 250-809-4757.
Paul James can be reached at 1-250-486-7464.