11/03/05 — Motorcycle toy run Saturday

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Motorcycle toy run Saturday

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on November 3, 2005 1:48 PM

With stuffed animals and other toys strapped to their motorcycles, hundreds of bikers will be riding Saturday to give local children a happy Christmas this year.

This will be the 8th annual HOG (Harley Owners Group) Toy Run. It is sponsored by the Goldsboro HOG chapter, Shelton's Harley Davidson and United Way.

Bikers will line up at the Smithfield Shelton's Harley Davidson store at 11 a.m. and will caravan to the Goldsboro store at noon.

The route will take them on U.S. 70 east to Grantham Street in Goldsboro and onto George Street south. They will go east on Ash Street around the traffic circle at Center Street continuing on Ash Street to Herman Street. They will go north to Corporate Drive to the Harley Davidson showroom.

"We gather bikers together and gather up toys for needy children during Christmas," said Shelton Davis, HOG member and owner of Shelton's Harley Davidson. A toy is the fee for doing the ride.

"Toy runs have been around for quite a while, but we didn't start ours until eight years ago.

"We wanted to do something for our community. We also do several more things. We really like to give back to the community as much as possible.

"Christmas time tends to be a time of giving. So we really want the underprivileged children and those who may not quite have the toys to have a chance at this."

He said the event just keeps growing. Last year there were about 600 bikers. Davis said he's hoping to have between 700 and 800 this year.

Davis said the caravan of bikers will have a police escort from Smithfield to Goldsboro. One of the bikers usually dresses up as Santa and leads the caravan. This year that will be David Fields. Davis said the children love to see Santa leading the bikers.

Once they arrive here, they will give their toys to United Way representatives, who will in turn distributed them to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

The bikers will then have a party with a live disc jockey, a barbecue dinner and door prizes.

Davis said the toy run is not just for Harley owners. And people don't even have to have a motorcycle to participate in the toy run. "You drop off a toy and you'll get a ticket to come right on in and have a barbecue dinner with us," Davis said.

"Everybody feels real good about it because we know the toys are going to needy children."