A motorcycle ride full of holiday cheer will be making its way through Cloverdale on Sunday, Dec. 1, as the Cloverdale Lions Club’s annual Toy Run rides into town.
The 22nd annual Toy Run will be heading to the Cloverdale Citrus Fair in an effort to gather toys for kids who may not otherwise be able to get them for the holidays.
Admission for the event is $10 plus an unwrapped toy. Following the run — which can include people not on motorcycles as well — the Lions Club will be hosting a barbecue. The event will also include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, live music and full no-host bar.
The gifts donated as part of admission into the Toy Run will be used for Cloverdale’s Christmas wish program, which aims to give toys to low income families that may not be able to afford Christmas gifts for their children. Names of kids in need, along with their Christmas gift wish, are placed on Christmas trees around town. Some of those kids will receive gifts from members of their community who pull off the name and purchase the gift, but the toys donated from the Toy Run will go to those kids whose names aren’t pulled off the tree.
“It’s all for the kids,” Toy Run co-chairperson Jerry Spitzer said.
Last year the club received around $11,000 worth of toys. They received so much that extras were able to be donated to children outside of Cloverdale who could use them.
“We had roughly two pickup loads full of toys leftover last year,” Spitzer said. “Another Lion and myself loaded our pickups up and we took them up to Paradise. We gave them up to the Lions Club up there and they distributed them to kids up there.”
According to Spitzer, the need for toy donations runs the gamut when it comes to ages — and they collect toys for kids up to 12-years-old.
“Just to see the smiles on the kids faces when they get the toys — it’s wonderful,” Spitzer said. “The Lions Club, we work hard that day, but just to see the kids smile. That’s what it’s all about.”
After everyone is registered, Santa Claus (played by John Turner) will lead participants in a motorcycle ride through town. The route will begin at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, run through back streets up to the high school and then through the main drag of town.
Those who have cars or motorcycles can participate in the run, those who don’t can walk and everyone can participate in the toy giving spirit. Admission is $10 plus an unwrapped toy.