MEDFORD, Ore. – The 43rd annual Southern Oregon Toy Run took place Saturday morning (12/2/2023).
One of the organizers, Mark Daley said,
“Everybody does their part on this and that’s what’s cool, it takes a village, I’m very proud of that in our area so they always step up for us.”
Hundreds of locals gathered on motorcycles at the Touvelle Lodge in Central Point Saturday morning, with a common goal.
The Southern Oregon Toy Run involves hundreds of bikers parading down Table Rock Road to donate presents at the Fraternal Order of Eagle’s Lodge in Medford.
“We give toys to the oncology unit for cancer victims and stuff, those have to be new unwrapped toys. Of course, they can’t have any germs or anything on them, so we try to spread it around with all different kinds of organizations, but we give toys to everybody, and we get toys from a lot of people.”
Daley says that the bikers all ride together with a trailer carrying the toys to make the mass donation.
A lot of riders dress up and decorate their bikes in the spirit of the holidays and Daley says rain or shine, they ride.
“It was a little wet this morning but it’s not very cold and the biker people and community, they don’t care, you know? If it’s to help kids or to help somebody, they’ll show up in numbers and we already know it.”
And they did not disappoint.
Another organizer and sponsor, Mark Lamensdorf, said there was roughly 300 bikers to ride and help deliver the gifts.
“If you look around here, there’s doctors, lawyers, teachers, everybody’s out here to support the kids. And so many people ride motorcycles. So, it’s not just those hardcore bikers.”
By noon, all the bikers started their engines and rode down to the Eagles Lodge, bringing toys for kids of all ages and even essential items for older kids, like clothing.
“We get a shopping list every year at the Toy Run and we get with the CASA, the police department; again, the hospitals, the churches. We really spread this out through Southern Oregon, so many, many people will benefit from this.”
And once they arrive, they’re treated to free hot meals and music to go alongside the gift- giving.
Once dropped off, toys were organized by age range on each of the tables, so they can be dispersed later.
Organizers tell me they get participants from all over Southern Oregon.
From Klamath Falls, to even the coast, the reason seems to be the same, to give back to those in need.
The event ended with the bikers all enjoying time each other, along with food and drinks at the Eagle’s Lodge.
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