24th Annual Toy Run a huge success

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For the past 3 years they've held their toy run at the Gulfport Dragway, but this year Asgard motorcycle club members, along with a lot of their friends, returned to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Biloxi for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Asgard Public Relations Director Smokey Stepputat said, "We've got about 500 motorcycles, about a thousand people, an 18-wheeler full of toys and 3 trailers full of toys, plus a lot of donations."

Santa led the parade across the coast, but not on a sleigh.

When asked what he rode in on, Ronald Sievers, "Santa Claus" said, "An '05 Silver Superglide, Harley."

But this Santa and his leather clad helpers are motivated by the same spirit that's kept this ride rolling for the past 24 years.

Sievers said, "It's fun to be able to get stuff for people who don't have anything. We get a lot of stuff and try to make some people happy."

The next stop for the collected toys is the catholic charities of the Biloxi Arch Diocese, where they will be sorted and delivered throughout the Diocese's 17 county area.

"Ya'll are unbelievable. You know that all ready but I just want you to know that we appreciate you for everything you do for us," Catholic Charities Executive Director Greg Crapo said.

Crapo says what these hard nosed hog fans have done will mean a happier holiday for a lot of underprivileged children.

"When you see one of those hogs driving down the road with one of those teddy bears strapped to the back you know where their heart really is," Crapo said.

The Biloxi Fire Department is one of many organizations that donate to the Toy Run. This year they donated 28 bikes.