Hundreds of Bikers Attend 38th Annual Reno Toy Run
Since 1980, bikers across northern Nevada have gathered together every year to collect toys to give to less fortunate children, as well as money for several non-profits. They're goal is to give toys to 1,000 families and raise 20 thousand dollars, so each of their charities is awarded two thousand dollars.
Since 1980, bikers across northern Nevada have gathered together every year to collect toys to give to less fortunate children, as well as money for several non-profits.
They're goal is to give toys to 1,000 families and raise 20 thousand dollars, so each of their charities is awarded two thousand dollars.
While it's a fun event with music, beverages, food and even Santa Claus, the purpose is to give something to special to those without.
"Until you lose everything you have no idea how important it is," Troy Regas, chairman for the Nevada Confederation of Clubs (COC), says. "But saying that I've been doing this for a long time I've seen families that had their house burn up before Christmas they have nothing and to take toys to them, the joy you receive from them is amazing."
"It's because I've been there," Nick Hayes, motorcycle rider with Fallen, says. "It's because I've been homeless. I was actually in high school when I was homeless and graduated high school homeless. So whenever I have a chance to give back to kids in a lesser position than I am right now, I do it without fail... Just because the economy and everything else going on in this world may not be right for their parents to be able to provide, doesn't mean they don't deserve a Christmas."
The COC was formed in 1997, as was meant to give bikers in the community one voice. That's helped grow the popularity of biker groups in Reno, raising the number from eight in 1997, to 50 today. That has certainly contributed to the growth of the Reno Toy Run. When they started back in 1980, they collected toys for a few hundred families and about four thousand dollars, a fraction of their annual goals Sunday.
"This honestly is the event I look forward to the most every year just because I love kids and we as a community love our kids," Hayes says. "So this is just a way we give back in the biggest of ways. You [can] ask anyone, this is one everybody looks forward to."
With so many bike groups in attendance, some of them have their own fundraisers going on. Hayes says his group "Fallen" donated some money to "The Henchmen" so they can buy gifts with a certain focus.
"Everybody comes out here and they get toys for the little kids, you know?" Hayes says. "But they don't really pay attention to the teenagers the 13 and up kids, so that's why the local Henchman chapter here in Reno started raising money and they bought I think 69 tablets for teenagers to go to school."
Regas says he's satisfied with the annual event, but not satisfied when it comes to the good work the COC can do.
"We just didn't have a lot of participation and it took us a while to build it up, and now we've gotten there," Regas says. "But we're not done."