Prince Rupert Harley Riders line up for the annual Toy Run. (The Northern View file photo)

Prince Rupert Harley riders revving up for charity

Annual Toy Run set to boost Salvation Army for the Christmas season

The 38th Harley Riders Toy Run is coming up on Saturday, and the club is hoping that this year will be their most successful yet.

The party will kick off at Prince Rupert’s Salvation Army at noon. Participants can make their donations up to and including the day of the ride, when they will then enjoy some coffee and doughnuts before shifting their bikes into gear.

The tour will consist of five stops, starting with a jaunt out to Port Edward for a barbecue hosted by the Port Edward Fire Department. The day will ultimately wrap up at Seal Cove Pub, where the after-party will take place. A live band and door prizes will be part of the festivities.

Ken Demiris poses at the start of the 37th annual toy run last year. (Matthew Allen photo)

READ MORE: Harley Riders hope to raise $10,000 in Prince Rupert Toy Run

Chris Rose, president of the Prince Rupert Harley Riders, has been on the tour for approximately 20 years.

“It all started out back in the day when they wanted to help the Salvation Army,” Rose said. “Everything stays local, it’s all here just for us.”

Rose estimates that since the event started more than $350,000 has been raised for the Salvation Army. Last year the club presented the organization with a cheque for $10,000, in addition to more than 350 toys and non-perishable food items.

The Prince Rupert Harley Riders club donated $10,000 to the Salvation Army in 2018. (Matthew Allen photo)

READ MORE: Harley Riders donate $10,000 to Salvation Army in Prince Rupert

2018 saw a record 122 bikers roll up for the toy run. This makes it the biggest ride in the north outside of Prince George. Rose says there is a big regional draw, with bikers coming from Prince George, Terrace, Smithers and even Ketchikan, AK.

“They enjoy the ride, they enjoy our party, they feel good about it,” Rose said of the out-of-town attendees.

As for donations, Rose says the group would appreciate anything that could come in handy for the Salvation Army during the Christmas season.

“Cash, clothing, food, all this goes toward the holiday season to help them out,” Rose said.

Anyone looking to donate can drop off items at the Seal Cove Pub, at the Salvation Army, or by getting in touch with Rose through the Prince Rupert Harley Riders facebook page, or on his cell at 250-600-6033.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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