Motorcyclists got revved up for a good cause at the 31st Annual Independent Bikers Toys for Tots (IBTFT) toy run, which left from Forest Park and ended at the Creedmoor Center on Sunday, November 6.
Thousands of bikers and onlookers gathered to donate to Jamaica’s Bernard Fineson Developmental Center, which provides a wide variety of services to people with developmental disabilities and their families.
A live band pumped out classics like “Born to Be Wild” and “Brown Eyed Girl,” as men and women in leather walked around on their own or with their organizations — their Harleys and Yamahas gleaming in a cluster in the middle of the parking lot.
Brand-new toys that were packed in a large silver pick-up truck and the proceeds from the $20 bike fees will be donated to the Center.
Independent Bikers Toys for Tots is a non-profit organization that is most known for its annual toy run, which began with just 17 motorcycles. It is staffed completely by volunteers, and over 97 percent of every dollar raised goes to the Fineson Center residents.
Many of the riders, like Michael O’Dea, got in the spirit by donning Christmas-themed costumes. O’Dea, who got involved with IBTFT 12 years ago when he heard about it through a friend, sported a Santa suit. He says he does the toy run for that “one smile on any kid. I do it for even one kid who believes.”
While many of the riders have been participating for years, for some this is their first toy run.
Bob Morrone, who has been motorcycle riding since 1971, decided to take part for the first time this year because, he says, it was a “beautiful day, a good event, a good charity.”