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The Salvation Army’s Toy ‘n’ Joy shop provides gifts for children who wouldn’t otherwise get them. At the annual Olympia Toy Run, thousands of motorcycle riders each carry a toy to donate so that a child who is having a rough time will get a little joy at Christmas time.
This year the Toy Run is on Saturday, December 2. It begins in the Sears parking lot of the South Sound Center, 711 Sleator-Kinney Road SE, in Lacey. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. when the gates open to an array of vendors. Take a look at the crowd here: http://olytoyrun.com/#!/event
Then, at 1 p.m. the big parade begins. Thousands of motorcycles roar to life and follow Santa on his toy-delivering mission. Each motorcycle carries a toy to Marathon Park off Deschutes Parkway.
To participate, you can either bring a new unwrapped toy (not a stuffed animal) or pay $10.00 per person or $15.00 per couple. This includes the price of a raffle ticket.
All riders and street-legal bikes are welcome to participate in the Toy Run, as long as you obey state laws—especially as to licensing, motorcycles, and helmets. Please don’t use the Toy Run to promote other events and don’t sell raffle tickets except the official ones from the Toy Run.
Several years ago, riders tossed candy to watching children, but for safety reasons that is not allowed anymore.
The Toy Run is a chance to see old friends and make new ones. The Toy Ride is a family-friendly event and everyone is welcome.
If you can’t get to the Toy Run and want to donate a toy (or lots of toys), you’ll find drop-off locations here: http://olytoyrun.com/toy-drop-locations/.
Just imagine the smiles and giggles as the children unwrap their gifts and know that, even in the dark of winter, people in their community are ready to send them some sunshine and good wishes.