Annual toy run kicks off holiday season

NORTHERN LIBERTIES - November 6, 2011

To the surprise of many, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia originally pulled the plug on the massive biker toy drive earlier this year.

Officials at CHOP said they didn't have the resources to handle so many bikers and their thousands of gifts at the hospital.

Organizer Denny Waldman explained the bikers were saddened by the cancelation, because it had helped so many sick children in the past.

"That answer resonated with a lot of people who felt this was an important part of our city's heritage at this point," said Waldman.

Congressman Bob Brady stepped in and helped broker a deal to ensure that the 31st annual ride is on.

In a change of pace for this year's toy run, the masses of bikers will ride to Citizens Bank Park and from there a small symbolic contingent will continue the ride to CHOP.

"It is a beautiful thing period, coming out for kids who are helpless," said John Jimenez.

"It is nice to see burly men and women in their leathers with a soft spot bringing in toys for children," said Sandy Brown.

The toy ride is sponsored by the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education., which started in 1980 to help soften the bad boy image of bikers. It has since become a tradition.

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