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Roaddogs preparing for 36th Annual Toy Run

Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 16:45:28-05

BILLINGS-

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

This year, they are taking steps to ensure that this tradition goes on, and is safe.

The first weekend of December each year, the ROADDOGS riding club leads to a procession of all walks of life to the Rimrock Mall, bearing gifts for children in the community that might not otherwise have them.

"It's our 36th Annual Roaddogs Toy Run, it's really a community wide effort. It goes to Roundup, Hardin, Red Lodge, Carbon County, Stillwater County, Yellowstone County," ROADDOGS president and "Curley Claus" Mark Helmbrecht said.

The final destination for the pilgrimage is the Salvation Army Angel Tree within the mall.

The Angel tree features names of different children in need, and their Christmas lists.

Each year, the tree is taller, and each year, the community tries to bury it.

"We don't want to cancel Christmas for the kids, so we're going to keep doing it. One of the ways you can support is buy these Toy Run shirts, or Toy Run hoodies," Helmbrecht said.

Another way to support is through bidding at, or donating items to the Holiday Jam Auction.

The Jam takes place at the E.L.K.S Club, and will be following COVID19 guidelines.

All money raised goes directly to hand picked out toys, the next day. Helmbrecht hopes to inspire people to give, no matter how large the gesture.

"Anything, if you've got artwork, something hanging on your wall and you're tired of it, donate it, we've got new TVs, computers, that should be a hot item this year with the kids having to take schooling at home," Helmbrecht said.

The provided COVID19 stipulations for the event are to enter and exit the mall single file, wear masks, and adhere to social distancing guidelines

"Last year, the Salvation Army was just short of 83,000 dollars that this Toy Run raised for local kids," Helmbrecht said.

"We'll be social distancing, and be at least six feet apart on the bikes, and depending on the weather we've had as many as 800 motorcycles, in December, in Montana on a Toy Run," Helmbrecht said.

People are also invited to take in the parade from Broadwater Avenue, or ride on one of the floats.

"Even if they're not on the run they're right there carrying the toys in and you see the smiles on adults, and kids," Helmbrecht said,"This year especially with the COVID. It's been rough on a lot of people. A lot of businesses. A lot of people have lost their jobs, and if we can help brighten it a little bit, that's what we want to do".

The hoodies and shirts can be purchased through any ROADDOGS member before the Toy Run.

The Holiday Jam auction takes place Friday, December 4th.

Toys are purchased Saturday, 5th, and the Toy Run itself takes place on Sunday, December 6th.

Contact Mark Helmbrecht at 406-598-8484 for information on shirts, and donations.

They will be sold at the 2nd Shift in Lockwood, the Snow Creek in Red Lodge, and the VFW in Billings.