Helmets tight and engines revving, eighty-five motorcycles whirled through Vanderhoof streets on Sept. 18 to round up Christmas cheer for children in need.
Kicking off the Kinette Club of Vanderhoof’s Santas Anonymous toy drive of the year, the 28th Vanderhoof Toy Run gathered 63 toys with a total approximate value of $1,500 as well as $775 in cash.
“It’s been amazing,” said Karren Carver, club president in Vanderhoof. “The turnout is fantastic and the weather cooperated.”
Hailing from Vanderhoof, Prince George, Fort Fraser, Fraser Lake, as well as Smithers this year, participating bikers increased from last year’s 35, though the event saw over 300 motorcycles in the past, Carver added.
Ray Bruvold, dressed as Santa Claus, led the motorcade from Vanderhoof and Districts Co-op mall parking lot to travel through the downtown core and Victoria Street loop neighbourhood. The procession continued eastbound through Highway 16, reconnecting into Vanderhoof’s fields by Northside Road and passing by St. John Hospital to finish at the Elks Hall for a post-ride chilli lunch.
Bruvold has ridden for the Toy Run since its start 28 years ago.
“Haven’t missed one yet,” he said. “It’s a very worthwhile cause and I do everything I can to make it work.’”
Seeing the success of a similar event in Prince George, the Kinettes had enlisted the help from the Central Valley Motorcycle Club in Vanderhoof. The first run had 12 bikes.
“Just to help to raise toys and cash for the kids who aren’t going to get as much,” Bruvold added.
The next Santas Anonymous event, sponsored by the Stevens family, will be a brunch in November at the Village Inn, and the season-long raffle ticket draw will take place on Dec. 18.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the story misspelled the Stevens’ family name.