Local bikers show their support for the 40th Annual Southern Oregon Toy Run

MEDFORD, Ore. — Hundreds of motorcycles rode down Table Rock Road this afternoon with toys strapped onto their bikes.

It’s the time of year when many local motorcyclists gather at Touvelle Tavern with toys for families in need this Christmas.

“What a terrible year… everything that could happen, happened, but if we can bring some brightness and shininess to the end of it and help some people – it’s worth it,” said event organizer, Mark Daley.

The event attracted hundreds of bikers, which is something Daley was not expecting.

But, he’s grateful for the support.

“People are tired of being cooped up I know, they can’t get out, they can’t go to a restaurant, they can’t go there… we’re on motorcycles, we are distanced, there’s air between us,” Daley said.

The bikes rode from the tavern over to the Eagles Lodge in Medford, with police and city workers clearing the path. Donated toys were then placed in plastic bags and put inside of U-Haul trailers.

In a normal year, they’re sorted by members inside the lodge.

“Unfortunately, some of them have come down with COVID, I know, so we’ll take [the toys] to a different facility [to sort] to take care of that,” said Daley.

This is the 12th year Steve and Rheanna Jefferies have participated in the toy run.

“It was fun, I had a good time. Normally, I don’t shop, but for this? I will,” said Jefferies.

By the time the event wrapped up, two trailers were fully loaded with toys ranging from bicycles to Lincoln Logs.

“We have various organizations we give to, it’s not just one or two, it’s like a whole page of people,” Daley said.

In a year like 2020 with both a pandemic and devastating wildfires, these motorcyclists are bound to make the holidays special for local children.

Last year’s toy run event brought in $22,000 and nearly 240 bikers particpated.

For more information about the event, check out the ‘Southern Oregon Toy Run’ Facebook page.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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