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ABATE Holds 30th Annual Tulsa Toy Run

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The toy run benefits the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots Program and the Laura Dester Children's Shelter. The toy run benefits the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots Program and the Laura Dester Children's Shelter.
More than 6,000 motorcyclists participated in the event this year. More than 6,000 motorcyclists participated in the event this year.
Last year ABATE packed two semi trucks full of toys and with more participation this year, organizers hope to collect even more toys. Last year ABATE packed two semi trucks full of toys and with more participation this year, organizers hope to collect even more toys.

NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- Thousands of motorcyclists spent Sunday on a mission to collect toys for needy children as part of ABATE's 30th Annual Tulsa Toy Run.

The mission of the ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) of Tulsa Toy Run, along with the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Program, is to collect new, unwrapped toys and help distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to area children in need.

The toy run benefits the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots Program and the Laura Dester Children's Shelter.

From teddy bears, to Nerf footballs, to toys of all kinds, Christmas will be filled with joy for many children thanks to the generosity of the bikers from all over. 

Thousands of bikers traveled from the Tulsa State Fairgrounds to the River Spirit Casino for the ABATE Toy Run.

 It's all in an effort to make a difference this Christmas morning.

It isn't every day you see so many motorcycles, and it isn't everyday you see guys in biker leather with giant stuffed bears in their arms, or in Santa suits, or with baby toys on the back, or holding ball launchers or toy tanks.

But for three decades now, bikers with giving hearts have donated toys for the Abate Toy Run.

"We never thought it would get this big 30 years ago, now it's got a life of its own," said David Allman, a biker.

"We started off with about 20 motorcycles three years ago, and this is what it's turned into," said Paul Brinker, a biker.

What it has turned into is an annual holiday tradition, bringing bikers of all different backgrounds together to make Christmas brighter for thousands of kids.

6,000 bikers took part this year. That's 2,000 more than last year's toy run.

"Last year, we ended up filling two semi trucks of toys for children, and this year we're hoping to blow those numbers out of the water," said Tiffany Ellis, ABATE Toy Run.

"(Helping) feels great. I can't be with my granddaughter this holiday, so help somebody else's kids," said Walter Jorgens, who participated in the toy run and is involved in the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

"It's all going to the children and with the economic times being the way they are, you know, there's going to be a lot more children in need," said Tiffany Ellis. "Anything that we can do to help make this Christmas better is good for us."

Maybe it's the economy and knowing help is needed now more than ever, maybe it was just the great weather or maybe it was a combination of things. 

Whatever the reasons, they kept rumbling and rolling through Tulsa with smiles on their faces and the holiday spirit in their hearts and riding their way toward a very Merry Christmas for thousands of children.

"The more toys we get, the more bikers we get, the more kids that are going to have smiles on their faces for Christmas," said Tiffany Ellis.

"It's fantastic, just fantastic, that everybody gives this much and wants to give this much," said David Allman.

The toy run wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

In 62 years, the Toys for Tots Program has distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.

Information on how you can get toys or donate in the Tulsa area

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