SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of motorcyclists gathered on Sunday for the 37th annual ‘Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive.’
The children who are served by Brightside for Families and Children will be the recipients of the toy drive, according to a news release from Mercy Medical Center. Toys collected during the event will also be given to children in need through Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee.
This is a three-day event, where on Friday and Saturday, new unwrapped toys, gift cards, and monetary donations were collected at the Walmart on Memorial Drive in Chicopee.
Sunday was the Motorcycle Run portion of the event, where motorcyclists will begin at the Walmart, and will ride to Mercy Medical Center in Springfield at 11:00 a.m. The entry fee for the run is a new, unwrapped toy per rider.
“We are grateful to be able to continue this annual tradition,” said Bruce Rivest, one of the event organizers. “It’s so important to ensure that every child and family supported by Brightside and Lorraine’s has hope and joy this holiday season.”
Another event organizer, Melvin Hook told 22News, “You can be the biggest, baddest biker in the world, but when a young kid hands you a toy telephone you’re going to say ‘hello.'”
Event organizers also say this has been of their best years yet.
Some of the sponsors for the “Hope for the Holidays” Toy Drive/Bike Run are:
- Custom Identity Apparel
- Indian Motorcycle of Springfield
- In memory of Patrick Rud
- Moose Family Fraternity
- Sons of Mothers MC
- Long Riders MC
- Cosmos Factory
- Z.Z. & Company BBQ
- Red’s Towing and Recovery
- ATC Audio Video and Lighting
- Renegade Souls RC
- Christian Motorcyclists Association
- Massachusetts Motorcycle Association
- Crippled Old Busted Bikers
- Polish Brotherhood
- FLNY Ryderz
- Chicopee Police
- Springfield Police
- 94.7 WMAS
- Elks Riders Lodge 1481
- The Hanley Family
- Philly’s Motorcycle Detailing
If you’d like to find ways to donate, you can head over to their website.
WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.