More than 200 show to help kids

By Geoff Lee

September 20, 2016 12:00 AM

HOG WILD FOR KIDS About 200 motorcylists turned up Denham Chrysler Saturday for the Bordertown HOG Toy Run— a ride to Bonnyville and back to the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds for a cabaret. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The Bordertown HOG Toy Run is no longer kid size.
The sixth annual event Saturday attracted about 200 motorcyclists and a large number of supporters to its new location at Denham Chrysler,  that jumped aboard as title sponsor along with Dudding Group Wealth Management.
“Last year, we were at Edge Harley Davidson and we shut down the street,” said Jon Buhnai, event chair.
He said with 225 bikes last year, the site was overcrowded and they pretty much ran out of room.
“Looking into the future you always want to see growth, so this year we’re planning on growth so we decided Denham Chrysler would be a good fit,” said Buhnai.
“They’ve been very gracious in opening up their building and their parking lot and even providing a truck for the safety vehicle.”
The event was open to anyone on two or three motorized wheels looking to help raise money for KidSport, the Lloydminster Youth Centre and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
“The charities are in Lloydminster, but they reach out much farther than that,” said Buhnai.
The event also donates toys to Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton and Saskatoon and for The Goat’s Christmas Wish and Lloyd 95.9 FM’s Gift of Christmas charity.
The $30 entry fee included a group ride to Bonnyville and a supper, and cabaret in the Stockade Building at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds.
“We encourage people to bring, new unwrapped toys and make that donation as well,” said Buhnai, who’s been the event chair since its inception and cheerled its growth.
“Year one was kind of tossed together fairly quickly and we were very fortunate that year and raised $4,000 and it’s just grown since then,” he said.
Last year’s toy run raised $67,000, an amount that may not to possible to top this year once all of the money is counted later this week.
“My goal was about $40,000 and we’ve hit that already from corporate sponsorship on the poster,” said Buhnai, not counting any of the donations from Saturday’s event.
Buhnai noted the need for charity is even greater this year given the prevailing economic downturn.
“Right now, as it stands, we’re about 20 per cent lower this year than what we were last year with fundraising, which in my eyes is really not that bad, considering the overall economy is down about 40 per cent right now,” he said.
The toy run kicked off at Denham with a public pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by registration from 10 to 11:30 p.m.
Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders welcomed everyone to the ride under cloudy skies and presented toy run director Murray Getty with an appreciation plaque with kickstands up at noon.
The route took riders to Bonnyville and a joint fundraising barbecue hosted by Protection for the Unprotected, that aims to prevent child abuse, before the pack headed back to the Stockade.
“There we are going to have a pig roast supper with all the fixings and door prizes, a live auction and a cabaret featuring The Prairie Dogs,” said Buhnai in advance.
Tickets for the cabaret only went for $20 with the doors open at 6:30 p.m for the 7 p.m. show and auction.
Some of the items up for auction included Harley Davidson fire pit, a couple of quilts, a couple of prime rib suppers for 20 at The Canadian Brewhouse and a catered Christmas supper for 10 people.

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