Brother Speed raises $20,000 for Christmas toys

BURLEY — Brother Speed South Central Chapter motorcycle club rattled the Magic Valley for a good cause last week as nearly 200 bikes turned out for the Black and Gold South Central Toy Run raising $20,000.

“I heard all the motorcycles on Saturday (Nov. 5) and they were coming from every direction,” said Linda Short, president of the Mini-Cassia Christmas Council. “It touches me. They are so good. I am just in awe with Brother Speed and the fact they care about this small community.”

The motorcycle club donation is the largest annual donation of toys the council receives.

“It is our mainstay for Christmas presents,” she said.

There is no reason for any Mini-Cassia child to go without toys on Christmas, said Brother Speed chapter president Gary Pawson.

“We’ve been stocking the Christmas Council for years,” Pawson said.

This year “there will also be a big surprise,” Pawson said. “But, we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.”

A shopping date is set in December for club members to go to Wal-Mart, where they get a 10 percent discount on the toys purchased. The toys are then donated to the Mini-Cassia Christmas Council.

Wal-Mart registers lock up when a 1,000 item limit is reached.

“We hit that limit three times last year,” Pawson said.

After the 10 percent discount is knocked off, the group buys more toys with the amount saved.

 

“We are giving bikes and nice toys,” Pawson said. “We make sure they are getting the good stuff.”

It takes the members two hours just to check out at two registers during the shopping spree.

Pawson said about 300 people from around Idaho, Washington, Utah and California showed up to participate in the charity event.

“It’s a lot of fun riding, that’s the fun part for us but it was nice to see a lot of people in the community come out to watch us,” Pawson said about the attention they drew. “Two-hundred motorcycles make some noise.”

This is the 20th year for the toy run, which was spearheaded by Pawson and some of his friends before he was a Brother Speed member.

“We were just sitting around having a beer and most of us had grown up n Heyburn in area where a lot of kids don’t get toys for Christmas,” Pawson said.

The first event took two weeks to plan and was held on Dec. 18 in 18 degree weather, he said. They raised $2,500 the first year after 25 motorcycles came out to participate.

During the first five or six years of the event, they distributed the toys to churches themselves before teaming up with the Christmas Council.

The Brother Speed chapter took the event over 17 years ago, Pawson said.

Now, the club starts planning for the event at the first of the year. The event raises money through donations, entrance fees and from shirt sales.

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LAURIE WELCH
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