Santa will be making an early visit this year to the South Okanagan with the return of the Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Association Penticton Toy Run.
On Sept. 16, Old Saint Nick will be joining organizers and volunteer motorcycle riders on a toy run through Summerland, Oliver, Okanagan Falls and Penticton to collect toys for children and teens in need. This year marks the 31st toy run for the area and the organization welcomes all riders to take part.
“We’re well-known throughout the community. When the community gets behind us it’s such a good feeling,” said Roy Colmer, Penticton Toy Run director.
Colmer said many of their volunteers help out because they understand some families need help during the holidays.
“We like to help the less fortunate children and families in the South Okanagan. Many of us are grandparents, and we do this because we all have families and it’s nice to put a smile on a child’s face at Christmas,” said Colmer.
To start the day, the Penticton Lions Club will be providing coffee, juice, and muffins at their location, #134 – 2872 Skaha Lake Rd., at 9 a.m. Riders will then set out for Summerland, arriving at the Summerland High School for 10:15 a.m. to make their first toy pick-up.
From there, riders will travel to Oliver where they will stop at the A&W at 11:30 a.m. for the next toy pick-up. The third pick-up will take place at the Okanagan Falls IGA at 12:15 a.m. Riders will then head to Rotary Park in Penticton to host a charity raffle from 1 to 3 p.m.
Music throughout the event will be provided by Russ at Affordable Music and lunch will be provided by the Lions Club at Rotary Park at 1:30 p.m. There will be $2,500 worth of doorprizes available, as well as a 50/50 draw, from which all proceeds will go to the Saint Vincent De Paul Christmas Hamper program.
This is also where all toy donations collected throughout the toy run will be delivered.
Around 300 toys are collected each year on average by run participants. Colmer says the event is open to the public, regardless if they are motorcycle enthusiasts or not.
“If you don’t own a motorcycle it doesn’t mean you can’t come down to the park that day and participate,” said Colmer.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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