Toy Runs: Southwest Style

By Wild Bill

Again Tucson AZ bikers shined a lot in the eyes of our children. Tucson Bikers also made a lot of adults feel the way we did as children. Happy to see all of the gleaming motorcycles shined and decorated with lights, gift’s hanging from all over with a few stuffed animals strapped to the back. Pipes rapping as we rode along side by side throwing candy to those that stood on the side waving, clapping and smiling from ear to ear. All the events that I attended this year were full of cheer and they were all well attended. Thanks to all of the riders and those who attended to make the Southwest another Merry Christmas for a whole lot of Children. Below you will see the ones that I could make it to. Like in past years with the weather so great there is just too much to cheer and I could not attend them all (Maybe next year). Also last but not least I need to thank my wife Carmen who I have been married to almost 40 years for letting me do all of my riding. Thanks.

Los Vatos Back 2 the Barrio Toy Parade

It all started off with” Los Vatos Back 2 the Barrio Toy Parade”. November 22 was a nice crisp morning. We all gathered at the Food City parking lot to sign in drop off toys and eat some enjoyable Chorizo & Egg Burritos along with some hot coffee. High noon we roared to life and headed down 6th street to our destination the Wooden Nickel. There we enjoyed the Plan Bee band with a real young singer that was heavy into Jim Morrison what an awesome sound. We enjoyed great food and of course some great refreshments to water the palate, enjoyed the vendors and watched the toys pile up. Super day for a super cause and knowing the Southside will have a wonderful Christmas made it even better. Thanks Los Vatos for a great time looking forward to next year.

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4th Annual Santa Clause Toy Run

The next huge event in our Wonderful City was November 30th. This was the 4th Annual Santa Clause Toy Run that was presented to us by Allen and his Renegade Classics Team. This event just gets bigger and bigger as the years roll along. The event benefited the Salvation Army Christmas Toy drive that provides toys for under privileged kids and also Tribal charities. We were provided with Pastries and snacks. The parking lot at Renegade Classics located at 4745 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson along with Bank parking was full with bikes arriving and leaving. We had a choice of what route we wanted to take or just head over to the Desert Diamonded Casino on Old Nogales Hwy for some great pulled pork sandwiches along with raffles and a ton of gifts that were given away. Toys were piled up everywhere along the hallway leading into the event and of course it is always a privilege for me because I get to visit with Pam and Red from the Patch Lady and Bob from the Law Tigers. I get to see them throughout the year but not as much as I would like. Thanks for supporting all of the Tucson Events. Allen so looking forward to next year thanks again.

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7th annual Red Sleigh Toy Run

December 6th was the Toy Run that my daughter Christina and I so enjoy. Besides her taking pictures along the route and father /daughter time we get to ride in a group following A Full Dressed Harley towing a huge red sleigh full of bags of toys. The 7th annual Red Sleigh Toy Run had begun. Pastor Steve has stated this is not an ordinary Toy Run. All toys are delivered on the run to the children at their homes. Rain or shine this is not an event to miss. We gathered at Ride Now on 22nd street to prepare for our journey. The town of Patagonia provide the police escort (Thanks was not enough) to help us navigate through the streets of Tucson delivering toys to homes. Along with the gifts to certain homes Pastor Steve has a truck full of gifts for the other children around the area as they come out after hearing all of the motorcycles roar in. As children come out he has their name on presents families are tearing up and of course (we won’t admit it) a Lot of bikers were smiling but silent. After one house we travel to another and another until the sleigh and truck with toys and all of the bikes are delivered bringing joy and hope and leaving feeling great. After we are finished we regrouped at Chuy’s on 22nd street for refreshments and reflex on how to make it bigger and better with more to donate and more to give. My heart filled thanks to Pastor Steve and his helpers for making this a most enjoyable day for myself and favorite Daughter.

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Kruzin for Kidz Holiday Parade

Our next Christmas event was Kruzin for Kidz Holiday Parade. This year it was held on December 13th. This will be the year we remember in our great city that California sent us our first day of rain. It rained and rained but this did not stop the Bikers of Southwest to provide a smile to a Childs face. What’s a little rain (Well it was a lot) this was all for Aviva Kids and had a lot of sponsors. I meant up with Yvette from Aviva kids and she was having a great time and happy to see a lot of riders show up. Also David from TEP (Tucson Electric & Power) was there. We started off at Hi Corbett field parking lot greeted with Coffee and donuts and just a little drizzle. We ended up at the Sabbar Shrine Center in Tucson with a downpour. Tucson Police escorted the run and there were a lot of wet smiles pulling into the parking lot for the after party. 100% of the proceeds will provide holiday gifts and other needs for children in foster care through Aviva. Please check out www.avivatucson.org or e-mail Yvette.hart@avivavisits.org to help for next year. Vendors galore provided much needed Christmas gifts and great food to eat while everyone dried off a little. Had a great time thanks.

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33 Annual Toy Parade – the Sun Riders MC

The last Christmas event for the year was the 33 Annual Toy Parade put on by the Sun Riders MC. This is the largest original Toy Parade in Tucson. I have been here 10 years and have attended all of them. This year it was held on December 14th. Yes the day after the heavy rains. We woke up to clear skies and a crisp cold air but this was not going to stop us. This year I had as my passenger my wonderful wife Carmen. We all gathered at Freedom Park this year as in the past to hold all of the rides. I was told this year was a longer and better route. Bikes were showing up one after another and the lot was filling up fast. You could see it was going to be a huge turnout. Now I need to say that I had heard this year it was costing the Sun Riders $5,000 for the Police escort that we have every year. I understand to a point but hey this is for the kids. At 12.00 Noon we all started up to head out to Hot Rods and as I was taking pictures I noticed we had no escort but Riders blocking the street for our departure. We jumped on and started the parade. At almost all intersections with families all along the route cheering us we had the Street Kingz RC or the Sho Ryders MC blocking the intersections for us. (This is because the politics got involved and well you can figure it out) I want to thank them for keeping us safe and making this a success. We all arrived at Hot Rods on old Vail road safe and sound to a huge lot of vendors and jamming to some great music. Red & Pam were there with patches, We left Bob from the Law Tigers at the start of the event. Besides my wife, my Sister-in-law Yvonne and her boy friend John rode with us on this event. It was a wonderful day with wonderful family and wonderful friends. Sun Riders MC Thanks again for the memories and helping support the youth on their own.

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About Wild Bill Saxton