Olympia Toy Run is 31!

Have you heard the news?

The Olympia Toy Run is about to celebrate it’s 31st Year!

When? Saturday, December 6, 2008!

Story & Pictures by Diana Olmstead

So get ready to join the rumble of thousands of generous riders with festively decked out motorcycles filled to the brim with gifts for children in need! This is, no doubt, the biggest and longest running motorcycle Christmas charity event in the Northwest! Help make history and thousands of children smile, by becoming a part of The Olympia Toy Run’s 31st year!

Last year, nothing, not rain, sleet, nor snow could deter the nearly 6,000 motorcyclists from joining together for one special cause – helping to collect over $70,000 worth of toys for the Salvation Army’s Toy n’ Joy Shop! This program enables thousands of in need children to simply open a gift during the holidays, something so many of us take for granted.

The Olympia Toy Run is indeed, quite a success story. For the past 30 years, motorcycle riders from all across the Northwest have braved the winter weather in phenomenal numbers, united by leather and good will.

The success and history of the Olympia Toy Run began 31 years ago by the Olympia Chapter of ABATE of Washington and was known as the ABATE Toy Run. That first year it drew 27 riders. In 1992 a coalition was formed. In 1994 the name was officially changed to The Olympia Toy Run. Throughout the years the coalition has grown to not only include the founding members, but several other great clubs, organizations and individuals such as the Descendants of 51, Society’s Deviants, Alky Angels International, Swantowne Pirates, GoldWing Road Riders’ Association, GoldWing Touring Association, South Sound H.O.G. and the Olympia Light Riders, The group also includes Sue Jackett-Cadenas the Secretary/Treasurer and the well recognized Joe “Santa” Sullivan, Coalition Coordinator. It is these amazing selfless individuals and valued sponsors who have come together, disguised as Santa’s helpers to do good in the world we live in!

This year, Tom Kalkwarf, the local artist who created the 31st Annual Olympia Toy Run artwork has generously donated a gorgeous framed and signed print to be raffled off. The print is on display and raffle tickets are available at Northwest H-D in Lacey WA. All proceeds benefit the Salvation Army’s Toy n’ Joy Shop. $5/ticket.

I truly believe there is no better way to capture the true essence of the holiday spirit than to be part of the incredible sight and thunderous roar of thousands of motorcycles, riding four abreast. Local residents embrace The Olympia Toy Run by lining the entire parade route as a show of their support for this great cause.

Gates open at 10:00 am at South Sound Center in Lacey. The T90 Drill Team and Seattle Cossacks will be on hand captivating the crowd with their unique motorcycle stunts. The ride begins at 1:00pm and ends at Marathon Park in Olympia with the gathering of toys, donations and announcements!

Admission is a New Unwrapped Toy or $10/single or $15/couple. Remember to get your 31st Anniversary Olympia Toy Run merchandise. Long sleeve TShirts/$20, Pins/$5. For more info check out The Olympia Toy Run’s website at www.olytoyrun.com

About Diana Olmstead