The 41st Prince Rupert Harley Riders Poker and Toy Drive is gearing up for success on Sept. 17 with participants giving it a full-throttle acceleration at 12 p.m. from the Salvation Army parking lot.
The annual toy and donation event kicks off the season of giving to assist the Prince Rupert Salvation Army with toys, food, clothing and Christmas hampers to more than 1200 people including 900 families in the city, Chris Rose event planner of the motorcycle organization’s event, said on Sept. 8.
Various prizes will be given out to lucky entrants, the well-loved 50/50 draw will be held, alongside the classic poker game as bikers tour the region’s course. Back again, this year after a pandemic hiatus, the popular after-ride dance with live music from “The Surfer Dudes” will be held at the Moby Dick Pub.
Last year, in 2021 more than 80 riders attended the Prince Rupert event and Rose is hoping for more this year. One hundred and eight riders counted has been the biggest turn out ever, he said. He hopes to beat that as donations for the past couple of years have been very low compared to previously. He believes this is due to the global pandemic but other than that he said he doesn’t know why some of the larger businesses are not donating like they used to.
However, he said the toy drive in Terrace on Sept. 3 went exceptionally well, and he hopes the ride in Smithers on Sept. 10 will attract more riders with enthusiasm spilling over to the Rupert occasion the following week.
“It’s kind of a tradition the boys started, way back in the day, 41 years ago. We’re keeping it going so that it does help the local community. It means a lot to help kids that don’t have [much] because they never get presents and extra stuff like that,” Rose said.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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