Bikers Strap Teddy Bears to their Motorcycles for Annual Toy Run
For 31 years now, bikers from all over the state have been buying toys, strapping them to their motorcycles and riding for a cause.”It kind of gets the bad image, the scary biker image out, you know. You get a lot of cool bikers with some big teddy bears on the back and it’s a pretty cool thing,” said Lori Goddard of Auburn.To take part in the United Bikers of Maine Toy Run, the bikers have to do a bit of Christmas shopping in September.”We look forward to it every year. It’s an awesome event and I don’t know how many thousands of bikes are here, but we really look forward to it,” said Charlie McPhail of Turner.Coordinator Rose Woodward says it’s 10,000 bikers that proudly show off their favorite toy and the toy they’re donating. They ride to the Augusta Civic Center and from there to the Windsor Fair Grounds.Goddard said, “We like to help out the children, bring out some toys, see all the bikes,All of those bikes add up to a lot of donations. It doesn’t take long at all for the toys to pile up.”You know, we’re all tough. We’re these tough Maine bikers, but deep down we have a soft spot in our heart for the kids,” said Woodward.The toys are sorted and distributed among 17 Maine regions. Different organizations in those areas make sure the toys end up with a child who might not have anything under the Christmas tree otherwise.”On Christmas Eve, when you know the kids in the state of Maine are having the best Christmas ever, it brings a lot of joy to my heart,” said Woodward.Maybe they won’t admit it, but having that teddy bear on the back of their motorcycle does bring these bikers joy, because they know by Christmas it will travel from their bike to a child’s arms.