The 29th annual Vanderhoof Kinettes Clubs’ Santas Anonymous Toy Run 1:00 p.m. started Sunday September 17 at the Co-op parking lot.
64 motorbikes participated this year – a quarter of the potential total on a sunnier day. Some years there have been as many as 300 motorbikes following him, says Ray Bruvold, aka Santa Claus. Ray Bruvold has been involved since the very first Toy Run and he hasn’t missed one. Since the 4th Toy Run in 1992 he has lead the group dressed in a red Santa suit, Santa spectacles and beard.
Each year soft toys and donations are accepted at the Elk’s Hall gathering after the bikers’ have completed their circuit on the big loop around town, about a 40 km round trip. At the Elks hall the Kinettes feed the bikers a welcome dish like chilli and a bun with something to drink. There they have a donation box for cash donations. People bring toys or cash. This weekend the Toy Run brought in $385 in cash donations and about 60 – 70 toys for Santas Anonymous.
About eight years ago the Santas Anonymous Toy Run modified their route to go past the Stuart Nechako Manor so the residents there could take in the sight and sound of the motorbikes as they go by.
“It’s been incredible how it has grown over the years. The first year we had 12 bikes showed up. A few years ago the weather was beautiful and we had people coming from everywhere and we had almost 300. Usually the weather affects the turnout more than anything. We used to go to the Fire Hall but we got to be so big we don’t fit there anymore,” says Bruvold. Speaking to another biker apparently there have been years when the parking lot has been full.
“The Toy Run just seems like part of who we are,” says Anna Wiebe. “We started a Motorcycle Club in 1988 and it was one of the first things the Club organized was the Toy Run in Vanderhoof. We had participated in surrounding communities Toy Runs and decided Vanderhoof could use one as well so we talked to Vanderhoof Kinettes about it and got it rolling. There was 14 members in the Central Valley Motorcycle Club to start and we attended many other fundraisers and brought them to our town…and they grew and so did the Club.”
“We keep everything pretty much the same every year,” says Bruvold, “but it’s not always the third Sunday.”
The way to remember is “The Prince George Toy Run is the last Sunday of the month and every year we do ours the week before. And Mackensie does theirs the week before ours.”
“There is a Thursday evening [motorcycle] run and a Sunday morning run but it’s not a club thing, it’s open to the public and just a group of friends get organised and if you want to go you just show up,” says Bruvold.
“Thank you to all who participated in our 29th Vanderhoof Toy Run for Santas Anonomous that has been put on yearly with the help of the kinettes since it was founded by Central Valley Motorcycle Club in 1988. The club members at that time were as follows: Tom and Faye Luscombe, Mel and Rita Couch, Gord and Anna Bruvold, Bob Peters, Rene Coburn, Doug and Bjideo Mcphail, Neal and Ruth Wiebe, Richard and Jeannette Brophy,” says Wiebe.