Toy run a hit

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September 18, 2014 9:32 AM

Riders came from as far away as Fort McMurray to help bring toys and camaraderie that a bike run brings out. - Tom Pierson Photo

The sun was shining, the grill was hot and the pancake breakfast served up outside Edge Harley- Davidson was just what the doctor ordered. That gave the riders who assembled there what they needed to face the day, and enjoy the ride they were about to embark on.

It was the 2014 Toy Run hosted by the Bordertown Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) with help from several sponsors. The ride started out from the Edge parking lot under the guidance and help from an RCMP escort through the city.

Run organizer John Buhnai could not stick to one answer to describe the day from the start to its finish at the Sticks for a great meal.

“It was a fantastic, wonderful, enjoyable, day,” he said. “The weather co-operated as much as it could do. A little bit cool, but the sun came out in the afternoon here.”

Getting past the weather, he said, “We had great riding. Everybody who came out had nothing but fun as far as I know, and that is the shortest answer I can give you.”

The trailer they brought along held a great number of toys and seeing them all together, the bikers and the toys, one quickly realizes, that is what this run is all about.

That is exactly what it’s about – raising some money and raising toys for the kids and having some fun with it,” Buhnai said. It also gives them the opportunity to have one great ride before the snow starts to fall.

Speaking to the support the HOGs get, Buhnai said, “In Lloyd we always do. We have had such good luck in Lloyd. People come out to support us, people come out to support us with money, people coming out to support us with toys.

“Today, on three or four occasions, we had people that weren’t riding, handing us money saying, ‘here, put this to your cause.’ So, it’s easy to do things like this because people support you so well.”

It was not just Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the run, but all makes were welcome. And as for the riders, they came from many starting points.

“Eight members of the Oilands Chapter (Fort McMurray) came down,” said Buhnai. “We know them and we rode with them before. They came down to support our run and it shows the brotherhood of this that people want to help you, they want to support you. We are all in this for the same cause.”

The two chapters first came together for an air show in Fort McMurray when the Border Town riders helped volunteer. Since then the groups have stayed in contact, so it was an easy call for the riders from Oilsands to come all this way.

Buhnai says riders came from Wainwright, North Battleford, Luseland, Vermilion and Paradise Hill. The riders from the hill rode into Lloydminster just to turn around and go back as part of the run. Buhnai says, “That shows you the commitment that they have.”

A huge success, the breakfast food was sponsored by Smurfette Fine Finishing, KidSport volunteers came in to help with that. Salvation Army volunteers also helped. In the end it was a big group effort to do it and you can’t forget Edge Harley- Davidson, who supplied the parking lot, which worked out well, and was a great sight to see – all the bikes and bikers shining in the sun.

When they took off under the guidance of the RCMP escort, it was a grand sight to behold, and the roar of the engines filling the air, created a great scene. Buhnai thanked the RCMP for their assistance getting through town, “It made our job easy. It was amazing support from them. I can’t thank the RCMP and the fire departments in Lloyd for all that help,” he said.

When it was all done, the Toy Run had grown again from the year before. See you at the run again next year.

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