Forget the sleds and the reindeer. When it comes to CHOP's annual toy drive, Santa's helpers ride motorcycles -- big and loud. And over 1400 of them with their engines revving, roared down Broad Street on Saturday to bring holiday gifts to the patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This was the 11th year that the Association of Bikers Aimed Towards Education has sponsored the "Toy Run for Tots." The group has donated over 75,000 new toys to CHOP over the last ten years. According to CHOP Special Events Coordinator Lydia Sermons, the annual event was coordinated by several CHOP employees who are members of the ABATE motorcycle organization. "It's great -- each person brings a toy," Sermons said. "They strap them onto their bikes and bring them [to CHOP]." Among the motorcyclists bearing gifts was CHOP President Edmond Notebaert, who rode in the event for the first time. Notebaert drove his 1991 Harley Daytona in the parade, right alongside "Santa Claus." Silvestri said that the parade is intended to draw attention to the Children's Hospital and to "abolish some of the negative images of bikers." "It went great -- the best ever," Silvestri said. In addition to the many toys which were collected, CHOP received several donations from sponsors such as Chevron and Atomic Tires. Earlier this month the members of ABATE held their first-ever local telethon, which raised over $8,000 for the "Toys for Tots" program. This year's parade was dedicated to the memory of Mike Hagerty, a road captain of ABATE who was one of the principal planners of the annual "Toy Run."Comments powered by Disqus
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