The Kelowna Toy Run is underway today, Sept. 24, 2017. - Image: Mark Dreger

Bikers unite and ride for Kelowna Toy Run

Another huge gathering of big-hearted bikers for the annual Kelowna Toy Run

By Mark Dreger

Motorcycle enthusiasts—including Santa Claus—gathered at McCurdy Corner Sunday morning to take part in the Kelowna Toy Run to help kids and families in need.

Riders enjoyed breakfast and conversation with like-minded riders while others looked at the large display of bikes from sport bikes and cruisers, to touring bikes and Can-am Spiders.

“This is the single largest contributing event to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Hamper Program,” said Brendan Buttler, who has been the event organizer for the last six years. “We had last year probably around $5,000 worth of stuff that we donated to the Salvation Army between stuff collected here and cash stuff I bought in the fall.”

Every year the Salvation Army serves hundreds of families that need help at Christmas time, with over 500 families registered last year and over 1,100 toys given away.

“I’ve got two little kids and every Christmas I look at the smiles on their faces when they get their presents and I couldn’t imagine other kids not having that, and that’s what keeps me doing this year to year,” Buttler said.

Dave Ford, a retired Kelowna resident who rides a red Spider, took part in his first Kelowna Toy Run event to gather with others for the cause.

“We’re here gathered for a common cause; good people getting together to help those in need,” Ford said. “That’s a good enough reason to get together.”

Ford worked in the military and did toy drives for military families and is happy to see the Salvation Army doing terrific work reaching far and wide for families in need.

“I was fortunate enough to have [toys] while I was a kid, therefore it’s my turn to give back,” he said.

With Christmas soon approaching, complications sometimes strike that leads to families needing help.

“There was a family three years ago that about a week before Christmas their house got broken into in Kelowna here and robbed and all their Christmas toys got stolen,” Buttler said. “I got in contact with her and found out what stuff her kids wanted for Christmas and I went out and I bought the stuff , delivered it over to her house, and watching her breakdown in tears in her living room saying to her kids, ‘I told you guys there are angels out there.’ Little things like that keep me doing this every year.”

Since the event began in 1985, the Kelowna Toy Run is one of the major donation of toys to The Salvation Army with over 500 toys brought to their warehouse last year.

Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read