Tulsa's ABATE motorcycle toy run is a tradition for many
BY KENDRICK MARSHALL World Staff Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 7:33 AM
For the last five years, Toby and Laura Terry have made it their mission to make kids smile on Christmas morning.
It was no different for the couple on a blustery Sunday afternoon during the 33rd annual ABATE Toys for Tots Motorcycle Toy Run.
"It is all about putting a smile on kids' faces," Toby Terry said while donning a full Santa suit, complete with a beard.
His wife was dressed as an elf.
The Terrys went the extra mile this year, constructing a small sleigh to hitch to their motorcycle. The contraption included a large stuffed bear, huge candy canes and just enough room left over to house several gifts for children.
Several thousand riders began gathering at Expo Center about 10 a.m. before they would head to the Blue Dome District to drop off toys as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program that will be delivered to needy children in time for the big day.
Brad McCaskey of Owasso brought a toy gun set for one child and a Barbie doll for another. Events like this have become old hat for McCaskey, who participated in his fifth charitable ride so far this year.
"This is for a good cause," he said.
Last year, 33,750 toys were donated to more than 23,000 families, officials said.
The toy run has been tradition for many motorcyclists like James Clark of ABATE of Tulsa - American Bikers Aimed Towards Education - a nonprofit that has promoted motorcycle rights, awareness and education that helped organized the event.
"It is all about the kids," Clark said. "That's the ultimate goal. There are going to be a lot of happy kids on Christmas morning because of this."
Marine Staff Sgt. Shawn Irons, participating in his first Toys for Tots event, said every child deserves a gift for Christmas.
"One of the worst things as a kid is not to get what you want for Christmas. It is even worse when kids have nothing for Christmas."
Irons said the charity, which works with families who receive government assistance, attempts to give at least two or three toys to every family and child.
"This prevents them from having nothing for Christmas," he said.
Original Print Headline: Motorcycle toy run is tradition for many
Kendrick Marshall 918-581-8386
Ave Gower (center) and friend Billie Burden, both 6, give presents to Marines that they got for their birthdays, during the annual ABATE Toys for Tots Motorcycle Toy Run in the Blue Dome District on Sunday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Toby Terry, aka "Santa Claus," straps presents down as motorcyclists gather Sunday for the Toys For Tots Motorcycle Toy Run at the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Mayor Dewey Bartlett and first lady Victoria Bartlett lead other motorcyclists down 15th Street during the annual Toys For Tots Motorcycle Toy Run on Sunday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World