Bikers ride for children, the hungry
By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 2, 2013 11:11 PM
Dressed as Santa, David Fields greets riders that participated in this year's H.O.G. Toy Run at Shelton's Harley-Davidson Saturday. Fields was the leader of a pack of riders from The Shelton's Harley-Davidson in Smithfield to the store's location in Goldsboro. Riders brought toys and donated money that will go to needy children at Christmas.
Harley after Harley rumbled through Goldsboro Saturday afternoon, as more than 200 bikers rode from Smithfield to Shelton's Harley-Davidson for the 22nd annual H.O.G. Toy Run.
The bikers were riding to the dealership for a cookout to raise money and collect toys for the children of Wayne and Johnston counties.
The event was expected to bring in around $1,000 and 300 toys for the Wide Open Foundation and the Community Soup Kitchen, ride organizer Kristi Walker said.
The event is sponsored by the Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G., each year and the proceeds are split between the Soup Kitchen and the foundation.
The ride has been led for the last 14 years by Santa, a.k.a. David Fields -- who rides into town on his black cherry colored Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
"Red is my favorite color, but the Street Glide doesn't come in red," Fields said. "I do it every year for the kids and because it's fun."
Cheryl Belden and her dog, Buddy, rode in together on a Harley-Davidson of their own -- Buddy with his own goggles and helmet.
"He's been riding for about four years," she said. "Someone told us about it and it sounded like a good event."
Jim Hines made his first toy run this year at 75 years old with his family and said he'll be back next year.
"I'm here for the kids. I brought one toy for a boy and one toy for a girl," Hines said.
He rode a Can-Am Spyder three-wheel motorcycle in the ride Saturday.
"It's a good excuse for a couple guys to get together and do something for the kids," Hines' son, Keith, said.
"And women," his wife Tara added.
Nick Holland said he came to the ride with Hines.
"It's all for the little crumb snatchers," he said.
The riders ate lunch at the event and a raffle was held to give away Harley-Davidson accessories, apparel and even a TV.
"You get to hang out and it's a good time and a good cause," John Gideon said. "I'll be doing more of these."
David Whitehead and Tom Meece of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club have joined in the ride for nearly a decade and they keep coming back, they say, for the kids.
"It's worth it to see what it does for them," Whitehead said.