BILLINGS – Over 300 motorcycles turned out for Sunday’s Road Dogs Toy Run.
In its 34th year, the run helps give a Christmas to area families in need.
“I’m a person that loves to see different people, different organizations, or different groups of people work together, because when we do that, we do better at meeting all of the needs of the community, and less people fall through,” Salvation Army Captain Donald Warriner said.
“You look forward to it every year because you get to run into people you don’t always see, you get to see the kids, they love it,” Staff Sgt. and ROADRASH President Robert Conklin said.
A handful of motorcycle clubs, families on ATV’s and floats, and the motorcycle community make their pilgrimage to the Salvation Army Angel Tree, delivering toys.
“Bringing the biker community together and the support we get from the community, to help bring the smiles to the local area children who might not otherwise have a Christmas,” Road Dogs President Curley Helmbrecht said.
Each year, the Salvation Army brings a bigger tree, and each year it is buried in toys.
“We went to Walmart yesterday morning at 6 and we wrote a check for $35,500 plus what everybody else has brought,” Helmbrecht said.
Families in need can make an appointment with the Salvation Army to pick up toys.
“You get to see parents, some of them so worried and didn’t know what was going to happen at Christmas, now they come and they get all of these toys, and they’ll be able to provide a Christmas, you see tears in them,” Warriner said.
“It means a lot to me to be able to mix the military and the motorcycle community together, the community does a lot to help out, and the military likes to help out where they can,” Conklin said.
“All of these motorcycle people, that are supposed to be these rough people that people might be scared of, having that tender heart, bringing all these toys for these kids,”Warriner said,”The Roaddogs love the Salvation Army, and they love kids, and that’s why they do it.”
Even though this year’s run just got done, preparation for next year is already underway.