Get Ready for The 35th Annual Olympia Toy Run

Get Ready for the 35th Annual Olympia Toy Run!

Saturday, Dec 1st, 2012

Written by Diana Olmstead

It’s time to mark your calendars, decorate your scoots and choose what toys to bring to the 35th Annual Olympia Toy Run! I’m proud to say that 100% of the toy and cash donations collected will go directly to The Salvation Army “Toy n’ Joy” Shop.

For 35 years the Olympia Toy Run has taken place on the first Saturday in December; a motorcycle only parade that winds its way from the South Sound Mall in Lacey, WA through the streets of downtown Olympia and ending at beautiful Marathon Park on the banks of Capitol Lake.

The Olympia Toy Run has become a family tradition for thousands of riders as well as non-riders. Year after year the Olympia Toy Run has set staggering attendance records. Last year the run had an estimated 18,000 festively decorated street legal bikes of all makes and models take part in the parade. Wow! What a sight and sound to behold, whether you’re straddling a bike or sitting along the parade route observing!

This year, to mark the 35th Anniversary, the focus is all about setting a new record of toy donations. It’s simple math, if 20,000 riders bring at least one new toy we should collect 20,000 toys.

If you don’t have room on your scoot to carry a new toy then please make a minimum $10 donation.

It is important to remember that first and foremost the Olympia Toy Run is a charity event. Since 1977, members of the Olympia Toy Run Coalition have stayed true to their charitable mission – “It’s all about the kids. We want to make sure that local children from low income families feel the excitement and joy of Christmas by receiving at least one gift from Santa.”

As you can imagine in today’s economy the number of children in need has grown dramatically. Without the motorcycle community rolling up to help, the Salvation Army would not be able to meet the needs of the thousands of local families who are struggling to simply keep a roof over their head and food on the table. When times are that tough, buying a Christmas gift for their children is simply not an option.

That reality is why thousands of leather clad elves come together year after year to support the Olympia Toy Run. It doesn’t matter how big or bad of a biker you are nothing touches your heart more than knowing that you made a child squeal with delight on Christmas Day!

Why not think outside the box and involve your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to take part by donating a new unwrapped toy, game or gift card this year! Then invite them to witness the generosity of 20,000 motorcycles and riders as they rumble through the streets of downtown Olympia. Have them go to too see a map of the actual parade route so they can find the perfect spectator spot for their family.

Since it is the 35th anniversary, this year the Olympia Toy Run long sleeve shirts, hoodies & pins will no doubt sell out. Be sure to pick up your 35th Anniversary Olympia Toy Run items now at Northwest H-D in Lacey or at the Toy Run booth at the South Sound Mall. T-shirt $20, Hoodie $40, Pin $5. Half of the t-shirt & hoodie proceeds go to the Westside Rotary Scholarship Fund which helps young men & women attend local colleges. The other half of the t-shirt and hoodie proceeds go directly to the Salvation Army.

In addition to the above mentioned items the Olympia Toy Run has a raffle. This year’s raffle item is a cool handmade Olympia Toy Run themed quilt sewn by Joshua Lambdin. The stitching features a bar shield pattern throughout. The quilt is on display at Northwest H-D. Raffle tickets are only $5 each so stop by NWHD and purchase your tickets today.

A special “Thank you” goes out to all of 2012 Olympia Toy Run Sponsors: 96.9FM South Sound Country, 1240AM KGY, Northwest H-D, Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, Eagle Leather, Little Creek Casino & Resort, D&F Custom Leathers, Bill Funk-Allstate, Northwest Guide Baits, Seattle Cossacks, Tenino Drill Team, Chrome Horse Promotions and Quick Throttle Magazine.

Without these sponsors it would be impossible to keep the oldest and biggest toy run in Washington State going and growing year after year. The Olympia Toy Run’s projected overhead costs (traffic patrol, law enforcement, signage, permits, insurance, etc) are estimated at $6000. The sponsor money is what covers those costs insuring that 100% of the Olympia Toy Run donations go directly to the Salvation Army “Toy n’ Joy” Shop and into the hands of children from low income families.

Let’s make this year’s 35th Anniversary Olympia Toy Run a year to remember! Deck out your bike with toys and tinsel and you might make the pages of Quick Throttle Magazine in our January Olympia Toy Run coverage issue!

Important Olympia Toy Run Safety Info: Gates open at 10am at the South Sound Center, Sears Parking lot. When you pull in please follow the direction of the parking lot attendants. The motorcycle parade begins at 1pm. For safety reasons we ask that riders do not park along the route and attempt to merge into the massive pack of rolling bikes leaving South Sound Mall. In order to keep the flow of motorcycle traffic moving smoothly, we ask all riders to please be respectful should parade traffic need to stop momentarily for emergency vehicles to pass by. The rolling speed of the parade route is 20-25mph. For the safety of the children who line the parade route and for the safety of the riders, please do not toss candy from your motorcycle.

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About Diana Olmstead