28th Annual Circle City Toy Run Delivering Toys for Kids in Need
The 28th Annual Circle City Toy Run hits I-465 this Saturday for the celebratory conclusion of a month-long toy drive to benefit The Salvation Army. Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to gather at Kitley Inn at 825 S. Kitley Avenue on Indy's southeast side for the event.
"Kickstands up" is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., when the police-escorted motorcade will head north to The Salvation Army's Indiana Divisional Headquarters, which is located in Castleton at 6060 Castleway West Drive. ETA at The Salvation Army is 1:45 p.m.
In addition to toys collected at stores and businesses across the metro area, all participants in the ride donate either a new, unwrapped toy or $10 to help out The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. This year the Angel Tree program is helping provide special Christmas wants and needs for 5,000 children in central Indiana.
While most of these "Angels" are adopted by donors, every year some gift bags are never returned, meaning that a child's wishes may go unfulfilled. The toys and funds collected by the Circle City Toy Run makes it possible for The Salvation Army to still respond to the special requests of every child enrolled in the Angel Tree program.
The Circle City Toy run was founded 28 years ago by Ron "Bumper" Herron, whose mother was a long-time volunteer for The Salvation Army. It was at her request that he find a way to help out, and the annual event continues to this day in her honor. The ride began with just a handful of friends and has grown to one of Indiana's most popular motorcycle events of the Christmas season.
This year, Captain Shannon Martinez of The Salvation Army's Eagle Creek Corps Community Center on Indy's northwest side will be joining the motorcade as it winds around I-465 to The Salvation Army's headquarters.
"I love that the hands and feet of Jesus also wear motorcycle gloves and boots!" said Capt. Martinez. "God meets the needs of our community through countless ways and purpose-driven men and women. We're incredibly grateful this season to once again partner with the Circle City Toy Run and appreciate their support as we hand off the gifts and toys collected to families in need."
Upon arrival at The Salvation Army, all of the riders will get to enjoy some hot coffee served off of The Salvation Army's canteen, which is used as a mobile food truck during times of disaster. The toys will then be trucked over to The Salvation Army's Angel Tree headquarters, where volunteers will spend the next few weeks sorting the toys and making sure that they are assigned to the right Angel.
Each rider attending the Circle City Toy Run will also receive a new Salvation Army bell, which is an annual tradition that has its origins in the belief that a bell on your motorcycle brings you luck. Major Jo Langham, who oversees motorcycle ministries for The Salvation Army across the Midwest, will wrap up the celebration by gathering the riders around her for a prayer before they hit the road and return to the Kitley Inn for afternoon activities.
For more information about The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, visit SalvationArmyIndiana.org/AngelTree. You can also learn more about the Circle City Toy Run and see photos from past events by checking out the event's Facebook page at facebook.com/circlecity.toyrun.3.