|BIKERS RAISE $5,000|
|December 18, 2001 12:00 am|
More than 100 motorcycles traveled down Highway 101 through Brookings-Harbor Saturday.
The black-leather-clad riders werent looking for trouble, instead they were raising money and collecting gifts for needy children in Curry and Del Norte counties.
It was better than we expected. We had a great bunch of bikers, said Bob Gilmore, senior vice commandant for the Marine Corps League, one of the groups benefiting from the fundraising event.
The Run for the Border raised $5,000 and tons of toys, said La Vonne Peterson, who, with her husband, Barron, helped organize the event on the Curry County side.
Toys and donations collected in Crescent City will be given to the Operation Santa program in Del Norte County. The toys and donations collected in Brookings will be handed over to the Marine Corps Leagues Toys for Tots program in Curry County.
Money was collected through $15 entry fees, raffle tickets and donations, La Vonne said.
Were thankful the weather didnt break on us, she said. Everything went very smooth. The Brookings Police Department and Curry County Sheriffs Department were good in helping us get through town.
We appreciate everyones support.
Motorcycle enthusiasts from both counties gathered under gray skies in front of the VFW Hall in Crescent City for the event.
Christmas music played from speakers as the bikers reveled in camaraderie spiked with hot coffee and doughnuts.
Most of the bikes were Harley Davidson models, but there were a few other brands. Many of the bikes bore American Flags and a few bikers had strapped teddy bears and stuffed santas to the handlebars or the back of the seats.
Nearly every rider and passengers wore black leather jackets, chaps and smiles. Some came from as far away as Port Orford and McKinleyville, Calif.
This is really cool. I love riding with my dad, said Anthony Blackely, 11, of Fort Dick, as he placed a new, unwrapped toy on the heap of toys at the VFW Hall.
Saturdays event was dedicated to Angela Jones, a motorcycle rider who died four years ago while participating in a similar charity bike ride in Reno. Jones parents, Joe and Frances Snyder, live in Crescent City. They received a plaque bearing their daughters name during the opening ceremony.
At about 10:15 a.m., the bikers lined up on H Street and began the run, escorted by a Crescent City Police patrol car. At the head of the line on a Harley was Santa, also known as Mike Edwards, one of the event organizers.
Edwards led the procession to the Crescent Nursing and Rehabilitation Center a few blocks away. There, the bikers handed out stuffed animals and visited with residents of the nursing home.
The riders then made several stops between Crescent City and Brookings, collecting playing card along the way. At the end of the run, the riders showed their hands and the one with the highest poker hand won $50, as did the rider with the lowest poker hand.
The bikers motored up the highway for a group photo at Harris Beach State Park, then drove to Sandys Sport Lounge in Harbor for a chili feed and the raffle.
Since most of the toys collected are for younger children, Gilmore said the cash raised by the event will go to buy gifts such as skateboards, basketballs and stereos for older children.
Members of the Brookings Elks will distribute the gifts along with food to needy families in Curry County.
For those who could not participate in the run, toy collection boxes are set up at the following locations in Brookings-Harbor: Fred Meyer, Family Security Bank, Sandys Country Kitchen, Bernie Bishop Mazda and Coast Auto Center. In Gold Beach toys are being collected at Dans Ace Hardware and Rays Food Place.
The toys will be collected at these locations until Friday afternoon. People are asked to donate unwrapped, new toys in their original package only.