On Sunday, Sept. 9, United Bikers of Maine held the ninth annual Toys for Tots Run….
From all over Maine, 10,000 bikers converged on the State House in Augusta, each to donate a toy, or toys, to the Salvation Army. The toys collected each year are distributed accordingly throughout the state at Christmas to families with children who are less fortunate than many….
I am confident that the Toys for Tots Run has and will continue to make a difference to families and children statewide. The toys themselves are a wonderful extension of the people who care enough to ride hundreds of miles so they might show their concern for families they don’t know and never will meet. That is the greatest gift of all. Gov. McKernan said the Toys for Tots Run was the “best and biggest charitable event in this state.” Indeed, it is just that.
Our efforts were rewarded that afternoon when three 24-foot vans left the State House, each loaded to capacity with toys. The Salvation Army estimates that at least 14,000 toys were collected with a monetary value of more than $70,000….
My greatest disappointment, however, is with the local media coverage afforded us for this charity. The scraps of air time and paper clippings we received dimmed the bright light of hope that local citizens, not affiliated, would participate and donate to this event with as great reverence as we have….
Overall, the Toys for Tots Run appeared not worthy of much public attention in the Bangor area. I wonder if it would be the same if the circumstances remained but the sponsor was different.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s amazing how many people do. A biker’s love to ride a motorcycle does not alter the true feelings in his or her heart. We do not wear leathers to intimidate or deceive anyone. Our apparel is designed solely for warmth and safety. You may be surprised to know that bikers either sponsor or participate in many worthy charities in this community…. Vicki Trask Hudson