Motorbikes rev for Saturday’s toy run
Organizers at the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank hope to be the recipients of a slew of fun donations when the Merritt Motorcycle Toy Run rolls into town on Saturday.
“This is a big event for our Christmas hampers,” said Karen Flick, food bank manager. “We encourage people to go out on the road and wave them on, and if they have anything to donate, there will be a vehicle following the bikes.”
The toys can also be donated at Rotary Park when the bikes arrive there in the afternoon.
“One area that we typically have a problem with, is finding donations for teenagers,” Flick said. “Maybe if people are thinking of helping out, that would be a good thing to do, is buy for a teenager, whether it’s a boy or girl.”
She said music, clothes, toiletries or makeup could be a welcome gift for the demographic.
She said 74 toys were donated at last year’s Toy Run, along with over $800. The donations made a hearty impact in the approximately 300 Christmas hampers that the food bank handed out last year.
The event has been hosted here for approximately 10 years, though organizers couldn’t reference the exact duration.
As an organizer for the event, Debbie Davis collects donations, sets up the route and registers participants.
“Whoever shows up, I have a book and then they sign in,” she said, noting she’s been involved in the event for the last 10 years. “We’ll have a band there and there will be balloons for the kids.”
The motorcycles are scheduled to start at the Aberdeen Inn at 11 a.m., before turning on Juniper Drive, driving through the Bench neighbourhood to Parker Drive, and then down Voght Street to Lindley Creek Road, Hill Street, Government Avenue, Main Street, Coldwater Avenue, Houston Street, Nicola Avenue, back onto Voght and then finally to Rotary Park, Flick said.
The bikes are scheduled to arrive at the park around 12:30 p.m., where people can munch on $3 chili, hot dogs and chili dogs, Flick said, adding that a local band will perform.
“It would be a great family outing, to get out and enjoy the bikes and enjoy the music,” Flick said.
Those with a motorbike wanting to participate can call Davis at 250-378-4644.
Approximately 60 bikers participated last year.
Donations can also be made at the food bank from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or on Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. The Nicola Valley and District Food Bank is located at 2026 Quilchena Ave.
The Merritt Stock Car Association also collected toys at their races on Labour Day Weekend.