On Saturday, Oct. 3, big, kind teddy bears – both stuffed and on motorcycles – will descend upon Prince Rupert in an annual tradition that mixes fuzzy stuffed animals and gruff bikers with large hearts.
The 2015 Prince Rupert Harley Riders Club’s 34th annual Toy Run is scheduled to motor its way through town at 1 p.m. on Saturday for its Poker Run and the club’s asking for a bit of help providing holiday cheer to those less fortunate in the area.
The Toy Run donates all admission costs (which includes a monetary cost and a new toy or non-perishable food item) to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper program.
“We’re trying to get as many people out as we can to help us out and help the community out,” said Harley Riders’ president Chris Rose.
Beginning at the Salvation Army on Grenville Court, off of Fraser Street in downtown Prince Rupert, over 50 motorcycle riders are expected to congregate, catch up (as some of them have come from hundreds of kilometres away) and kick off the Poker Run, which sees all participants visit five locations including the Port Edward fire hall, the Seal Cove Seaplane Base and the whale statue at the waterfront to collect five cards for the game.
“The high hand wins half the pot and the low hand wins half the pot,” said Rose.
Capt. Gary Sheils of the Salvation Army will be on hand before the 1 p.m. kickoff time to wish the riders well and to thank them for their generosity.
After the five stops, the riders will head to The Hub for a dinner before making their way to the Fishermen’s Hall at 8 p.m. for a dance, five live bands who have all donated their time and skills, door prizes, including a return flight for two to Vancouver from Hawkair, a Harley Davidson watch from Cook’s Jewellers, a room at The Crest hotel, gas cards, an oil painting by a First Nations painter worth $350 donated by Ridley Terminals and much more.
“[The bands’] time is donated and has been for 34 years. They just come and bring their equipment, we supply them with a T-shirt and a few drinks and they play all night long for us,” said Rose.
At 11:30 p.m., the club will also hold their draw for a new 2015 FXDL Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider worth over $22,000 from Harley Davidson of Smithers.
“[The proceeds] go to the Kaien Anti-Poverty Society and the North Coast Health Improvement Society. We’re helping the hospital buy a portable X-ray machine,” said Rose.
For tickets to the Poker run or to enter the draw for the new bike, contact Rose at 250-600-6033.