Bikers collect cash and toys Saturday

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dressed in leather and ready to ride, 141 bikes were loaded with stuffed animals, Lego sets and other toys to be taken to the Salvation Army canteen at the new BikeFest grounds on Pond Town Road Saturday.

Phillip Hornsby, president of Deep South Riders, said the number of bikers was down slightly perhaps because temperatures also dipped Saturday afternoon. However, he was pleased with the turnout and said 150 bikers is a good number, which in some years, more than 500 toys were dropped off by bikers.

The annual Toy Run was sponsored by the Deep South Riders and The Remaining Few motorcycle club.

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Motorcycle enthusists have been securing toys onto their bikes for 14 years now, then delivering them to an awaiting Salvation Army van. Some of the toys, such as the stuffed teddy bears or in one case, a stuffed pig, were precariously attached to the front of the motorcycles.

Dennis Long of the Salvation Army said this year’s Toy Run raised $401 and approximately 250 toys, which will be distributed to needy children within Decatur County. Toys also were collected from Beef O’ Brady’s, the Charter House Inn and various Decatur County queens, which were taken out to the Salvation Army’s van.

Long said 565 children have sign up to receive toys.

Margie Owens, 70, who drove a Honda motorcycle, had a teddy bear attached to the backseat of her cruiser.

“Most children like something soft,” Owens said of why a teddy bear.