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Toys for Tots Ride kicks off giving season (4 photos)

Riders donated over 100 toys for The Salvation Army Christmas Toy Campaign

THUNDER BAY - It’s never too early to think about Christmas.

On Saturday, the 36th annual Toys for Tots motorcycle was held to raise money and gift donations for families in the area.

Maj. Lori Mitchell, executive director of the Salvation Army, says it’s the event that kicks off the Christmas season for the organization.

“It’s definitely a Christmas event even though it’s in December,” she said.

The donations are distributed to The Salvation Army Christmas Toy Campaign. The charity hosts a dinner event in December where recipients of the program can pick out toys for their children.

The event is organized in conjunction with biker groups who make monetary and toy donations as they ride across the city.

On Saturday, they teamed up to donate over 100 toys.

“People see guys in leather on Harley-Davidson’s and have a certain image in their mind. So to see them coming together is very heartwarming,” Mitchell said.

“All the riders I know are an altruistic bunch of people, and we want to go out and have fun with other bikers, and support the community,” said Michael Abbott.

Abbott is part of the bike organization Widow’s Sons, an international motorcycle organization that requires all members to be master masons.

On Saturday he donned a red Santa outfit underneath his black leather biker jacket, and rode around town with a stocking of toys on his back. He says he’s already in the spirit of giving.

“We support almost everything we can with kids. In this case, everybody wants to have a special Christmas.”

Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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