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November 3, 2013

Local bikers continue Toy Run tradition

DUNCAN — Members of the motorcycle groups generally have a rough and tough exterior, however, that often times hides a tender heart.

This is certainly the case with a local biker club. Vietnam Vets Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club Chapter F plan a Toy Run to benefit the Duncan Toy Shop each year. It is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 1 this year, leaving from the Carmike Theater and ending at the Toy Shop, 111 S. 9th St.

More than 20 years ago, about six individuals in Duncan started the run because of a passion for helping children. When those individuals went separate ways, one of the original six, Spider, was a member of the Vietnam Vets Legacy Vets MC.

“The club picked it up,” said Spider. “We plan to keep on doing it.”

Each year, there are about 300 motorcyclists who meet at the Carmike, near U.S. Highway 81 on Plato Road, loaded with toys to bring to the Toy Shop. While most of the bikers are local, several come from other parts of Oklahoma and even out of state.

“We’ve had brothers come from Kansas,” Spider said. “We pass the word along (about the Toy Run) to other groups during the year and anyone is welcome to ride.”

Even cars sometimes follow the large procession to the Toy Shop. Anyone is allowed to drop off toys that day. Toy Shop volunteers will be available from slightly before 1 p.m. to about 2:30 p.m.

“(The bikers) bring a lot of toys and also send in financial donations,” said Kathy Snider, Toy Shop co-chair. “They are big-hearted, generous people.”

No matter the weather, provided it’s not icy, the bikers will be ready and willing to ride through rain, shine or snow. When the biker group arrives at the Toy Shop, there are refreshments waiting, which are provided by BancFirst.

After the toys have been unloaded, the group heads over to Freedom Biker Church, 803 Walnut, where the church sponsors a barbecue dinner and social gathering.

The Toy Run serves as a kick-off to Toy Shop’s season. Pre-registration for families needing the help of Toy Shop this year will be 9 a.m. to noon and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Toy Shop.

Parents and guardians will need to register their own children. Social security numbers of both parents and children must be provided.

Snider said all boxes will be filled and ready to go by Dec. 13 and toys will be delivered on Monday, Dec. 16.

A few years ago, Vietnam Vets Legacy Vets MC added an event to their calendar with a Toy Rally, which benefits the Comanche Toy Shop. It is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10 at 401 S. 2nd.

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