Over 3,000 motorcycles expected in Clark County for Highway Hikers toy run

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Highway Hikers Motorcycle Club is gearing up for the 41st Annual Toy Run to benefit the Springfield Salvation Army.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Highway Hikers and the Salvation Army will host its annual toy drive for Clark County children next week.

The 41st Annual Christmas Toy Run will take place at 1 p.m. Oct. 20. The run collects toys for Clark County children in need and donates them to the Springfield Salvation Army.

Ryan Ray, development director at the Springfield Salvation Army, described the toy run as “the area’s largest display of love.”

“There’s really nothing like it,” Ray said. “When you see these bikers with teddy bears and toys hanging off their handlebars it is a really cool thing to see.”

Motorcyclists from other states are expected to travel to Clark County to participate in the 1 to 2 hour long ride.

The ride will start at the VFW, 1587 N. Lake Rd. in New Carlisle and end at the Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike in Springfield.

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Bikers will ride past the George Rogers Clark Park, the Masonic Home, and Springfield’s Main Street.

Residents are encouraged to bring lawn-chairs to watch one of the state’s largest toy runs.

Last year, 2,842 motorcycles participated in the run and this year organizers are hoping for more than 3,000 bikes.

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The Springfield Salvation Army will serve over 2,000 children this year through the Highway Hikers Toy Run and the Salvation Army’s Christmas Campaign.

Each child will receive three new toys, new clothing, stuffed animals, and stocking stuffers, Ray explained.

“We see parents come in and they are crying,” Ray said. “They’re relieved their kids will wake up Christmas morning to a lot of amazing toys because of what they (the Highway Hikers) do.”

Ray said he understands getting stuck behind the procession of motorcycles can be frustrating, but he encourages residents to remember the reason the motorcyclists are riding.

“We often are summed up by what we don’t get right in this community and this is one of those things we do get right,” Ray said.

Residents wanting to donate can bring donations to the Highway Hikers, 2020 Lake Rd. in Medway or call the Salvation Army Springfield Corps, 937-322-3434.

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