Annual Kiwanis Toy Run helping Kamloops community come Christmastime

By Adam Donnelly
September 10, 2018 - 4:32pm Updated: September 10, 2018 - 5:33pm

KAMLOOPS — Bikers have always been portrayed in popular culture as bad hombre, outlaws who live outside society’s rule; if Sunday’s Kiwanis Toy Run was any indication, the bikers in our community and region have big hearts and are willing to help those in need.

Sunday’s sunny skies proved to be the perfect start to the 15th annual Kiwanis Toy Run, an event that brings motorcycle riders together from across the region to take part in a ride that raises funds and collects toys for Christmas Amalgamated and the Salvation Army.

“It’s a tough world out there, so it's a good thing we're all coming together to help raise some toys and some donation for all the children,” Bikers Against Bullying’s Jake Currie told CFJC Today.

The toy run has been going on for over 30 years, and for the past 15 of those has been organized by the Kiwanis Club of Kamloops.

“It’s a pretty amazing thing,” Kamloops Kiwanis Club Past President Peter Aselstyne said. “We consider ourselves generous with our time, but really we do this because it makes us feel good. It’s really a little selfish.”

The Toy Run brings all kinds of motorcycle riders together.

“I personally believe that if it’s got two wheels and you’re out there to ride, then ride on,” Currie said.

The group included some bikers who wouldn’t traditionally celebrate Christmas: the Kamloops Punjabi Bikers.

“For us, anytime we see anything good or positive happening from… other people in the community, we always like to take part, especially when it’s giving to others,” Pav Gill explained.

Christmas Amalgamated organizer Sally Whitson was at the event as the bikers returned from the ride. She says this event marks the beginning of Christmas Amalgamated’s campaign leading up to the holiday season.

“All of the toys that are donated, it’s incredible,” Whitson said. The amount of work that goes into this, and the [number] of volunteers that we have… It’s beginning again.”

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