A procession of hundreds of motorcycles wound through the streets of Indianapolis this afternoon, leading a truck filled with toys for The Salvation Army Toy Shop. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around central Indiana had gathered at Everett’s Sugar Shack, bringing toys to donate to The Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance program benefiting the working poor in our area.

The Circle City Toy Ride is an annual tradition held each fall and organized by its founder Ron “Bumper” Herron. Ron’s mother, a volunteer with The Salvation Army, encouraged him to create an event that would help out her favorite charitable organization. Nineteen years later, Ron has kept up the tradition.

“It just means giving back to the community. I was raised that way,” Ron explained. “These people are like that. Everybody out here is misjudged. Just because they wear black leather and ride a motorcycle, they don’t think they’ve got big hearts like they do. And that’s the reason I’m doing this, because these people out here help me.”

This year, Major Barb MacLean joined along on the ride, donning a helmet and hopping onto a trike. “It was amazing, and it was so exciting to ride with the group today giving toys,” said Major Barb, after arriving at the end of the ride at The Salvation Army headquarters on North Meridian Street. “To see all the bikers in front, and all of them behind me, hearing them and just knowing that they were doing this for somebody else. This was a fun day of giving back to their community!”

The crowd watched with excitement as the toys were unloaded and counted. The first year of the Circle City Toy Run included 12 riders who collected 22 toys, but this year over 300 riders brought nearly 1,000 toys to donate. Ron said, “I know that at some point on Christmas Day I know everybody here is going to get a little smile on their face because of what they did today.”

After dropping off the toys, the bikes headed back to Everett’s Sugar Shack for a hog roast and live music. The owner offered his establishment for the event because of how The Salvation Army helped his family during hard times, showing up at his house with food and gifts on Christmas Day when he was a young boy. Today he helped to give back to the community and organization that he loves and respects.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch a video of Major Barb at the event.