For more than a quarter of a century a lot of enterprising motorcycle enthusiasts - as in more than 30,000 from all over the country - have gotten together and staged a 20-plus-mile cross-county journey to raise money and toys for underprivileged children.
This year's Toys in the Sun Run - the 27th annual - will be held on Sunday, December 7, when the bighearted bikers will travel from the starting point, the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach (831 N. Federal Hwy.), to Markham Park in Sunrise.
At the end of their trek will be live entertainment, more than a hundred vendors selling a wide variety of merchandise, and an international food court, as well as a classic bike show. (No pets, coolers, or outside food and drinks permitted.) The park opens at 8 a.m., and an early arrival is recommended, as the cyclists' route will be closed to traffic once their excursion is under way. The live music gets going at 11 a.m.
Admission is $10 per person, plus an unwrapped toy (no stuffed animals, please); if you show up without a toy, expect to pay $20 per person. The park's regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will also be in effect.
To get an idea of how much this fundraiser has grown over the years, consider that when it was started by Wings of Gold Motorcycle Club president Bob Amchir back in 1987, about 700 motorcycles participated, and the event netted $965 in cash and a little over 500 toys. These days the run typically raises more than half a million dollars and collects more than 50,000 toys.
For more information, visit toysinthesunrun.com.
Markham Park & Target Range
16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise, FL 33326