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Billings ROADDOGS IRO hold 36th Annual Toy Run

Posted at 10:02 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 07:50:53-05

BILLINGS - If you were out and about Sunday morning, you probably couldn't miss the line of motorcyles stretching across town.

Their sleighs might not be what you'd expect. more on the sleighs

For 36 years, The ROADDOGS Toy Run has brought Christmas to local kids, with motorcycles carrying their elves.

"It's about awareness, there's a lot of kids in this town that may not get anything for Christmas. It doesn't have to be a play-station 5, it could be a 15 to 20 dollar toy but that might be the only thing they're getting for Christmas," ROADDOGS IRO President Mark Helmbrecht, or Curley Claus said.

The parade began in front of Fire Station 1 and worked its way up Broadwater Avenue to Rimrock Mall.

Even with changes in format, fundraising, covid restrictions adjustments, and a last minute venue change, canceling Christmas, was not an option.

"It's not an option. It will not ever be. Lot of scrambling, and a lot of hurdles to do it, but you know what, the community came together and we're making it happen," Helmbrecht said.

Along with many other surprises for the 36th Annual Toy Run, they were greeted with nice weather.

"Looks like another record year for bikes this year, I'm going to predict over 700 motorcylces, all coming to help out the kids, that's what it's all about," Helmbrecht said.

The pilgrimage delivered the toys to Salvation Army trucks, which will connect children to toys through the Angel Tree program.

"It's a great feeling, a really warming feeling to know that you're helping people. Somebody took time to help me when I needed help, so that's why I give back," Salvation Army soldier Dave Long said.

Over $40,000 worth of toys were hand-picked by ROADDOGS members Saturday morning.

"Plus what everybody here is bringing. We sold out of hoodies mid-way through the sale, that shows the support that the community gives for this," Helmbrecht said.

They begin their fund raising for next year now.

"I want to thank the city of Billings for their turn-out, and support and keep on giving," Long said.

Families in need can still contact the Salvation Army at 245-4659.