Christmas spirit in high gear

Local motorcyclists hit the road for annual toy run

Participants in the annual Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Association toy run begin their southern valley journey along Lakeshore Drive Sunday morning. Riders taking part donate toys and money to help needy children at Christmas.

Christmas came early once again this year thanks to members and guests of the Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Association.

Over 100 participants dressed in their best leather — aboard a variety of  polished two and three-wheelers — arrived at Rotary Park Sunday morning bearing gifts and anxious to begin the annual toy run through the south valley from Penticton to Summerland to Oliver and back again.

Throughout the morning the bags of stuffed animals, games and other items piled higher as riders continued to arrive to have a quick breakfast before the rumbling, en masse departure along Lakeshore Drive.

“We’re here to collect some toys for the needy at Christmas, it’s all for the kids,” said Hal Leader, his long, grey braided ponytail hanging from beneath his helmet.  “If not for the kids we’ll have no pensions … but seriously it’s to give something to those who might not otherwise have something at that very special time of year.

“I also really like the camaraderie because there are people I haven’t seen since the last toy run. We all travel in our circles and this time of year here we are.”

The association which prides itself with presenting members of the motorcycle community in a positive light has staged the run locally for almost a quarter century.

Similar events are also held in other parts of the Okanagan Valley including the previous week in Vernon and this weekend’s ride in Kelowna.

“We’re from Vernon and we thought we’d come out and check out the toy run and bring some toys and support the local bikers,” said Tina Peacock, who was travelling with her father Trevor Peacock.

“This definitely a good cause, the toys go to the children who are needy and that’s an obvious good thing. It’s good community relations and it’s a way to give back to the community.”

The pair are avid riders and always enjoy meeting new people at the events to share the road with.

Red Young has been involved with organizing the Penticton-area ride for many years and is always easy to pick out of the crowd — he’s the one in the Santa suit.

“The (Society of) Saint Vincent de Paul has a Christmas hamper program every year and so everything that comes in, the money and the toys, goes to them,” said Young, who is also president of the association. “We’re just happy that this gives them a start to the year, and it’s fun.”


Just Posted

Penticton Lakers curling team headed to high school provincials

Penticton Secondary School Lakers boys curling team will represent the zone at provincials

Premium electric rate for home-based businesses

After more than three decades, home businesses pay the same power rate as other Penticton residents

Penticton cyclist takes city to court over injuries

The man claims a depression in the road caused a crash, resulting in rib and facial fractures

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last world tour

Tagger causes $30,000 damage

Penticton looking for help finding person responsible for graffiti

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Three sisters will curl together as Team B.C. at Tournament of Hearts

Nanaimo’s Kesa, Marika and Kalia Van Osch, along with teammate Amy Gibson, start play Jan. 27

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Most Read