Bikers lead toy drive charge |

Bikers lead toy drive charge

The 12th annual Tahoe Toy Run — the largest fund-raising event for Christmas Cheer, a South Shore food bank — will be Saturday at the Horizon Casino Resort.

Motorcycles will line up at the Horizon beginning at 11 a.m. and will leave at 1 p.m. down Highway 50 in parade formation, led by Santa Claus, to Brother’s Place on Emerald Bay Road.

Entertainment will include raffle prizes, auction, a barbecue and live music. Event T-shirts will also be sold. All South Shore residents are invited and are encouraged to donate a new toy.

Bikers from all over California and Nevada come to lend their support, each with a Christmas gift donation.

The Tahoe Toy Run is a major fund-raiser for Christmas Cheer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food to needy families and Christmas toys and items for teenagers to underprivileged children in the South Shore.

“Without the Horizon, this event would not be possible,” said Mary Luckel, Toy Run coordinator. “They have donated their facilities and staff each year since its inception.”

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol and South Lake Tahoe Fire Department are instrumental in the success of the event, Sharp said, while Brother’s Place lends its support each year by providing the location for the event’s entertainment, featuring the South Shore band Cool Black Kettle. The first 100 children at the event will receive a coupon for a free happy meal courtesy of McDonald’s.

Many motorcycle clubs assist with security and provide support in various ways.

“The community support for this event has been incredible,” said Kathy Sharp, who helps organize the event with Luckel. “And we need it to continue now more than ever because with all the changes over the past year — with the casino mergers, and the cleaning crew layoffs — many people in this community are not in as good of a financial position as they were last year.”

The toy drop-off locations will be at the Horizon between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and at Brother’s Place, until 3 p.m. While the toy run and displays don’t require admission, participants are encouraged to donate a new toy or an item a teenager would enjoy.

“It’s all about the kids,” Sharp said.

For more information, call Luckel at (530) 541-4332. Christmas Cheer is open all year and can be reached by calling (530) 542-4934.

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