For 18 years now, Ron “Bumper” Herron has wrangled up family, friends and a large group of bikers to help The Salvation Army fill the Christmas City Toy Shop by organizing the Circle City Toy Run.
And Saturday, he rode through town to the divisional headquarters in traditional fashion — accompanied by a line of nearly 200 motorcycles and their riders. The bitter cold weather may have kept some of the regulars from participating but it didn’t stop anyone from donating. Twenty very large boxes of toys were donated and more is coming.
The annual event, hosted this year by Beale Street Live, brings riders together for a good cause and all because of one man’s mother.
“Mom, Dorothy Herron, knew that volunteering your time was a wonderful way to give back to your community. Mom Herron decided to donate her time to The Salvation Army,” Bumper said. “She realized that The Salvation Army needed help at Christmas time collecting toys for the toy shop. The kid’s toy shop helps people who are having a difficult time at Christmas get toys for their children.”
Because of Bumper’s experience hosting and organizing charity events and benefits, his mother asked him to help. And 18 years ago, Bumper organized the very first Circle City Toy Run.
“I think back then there was maybe a closet in an office that we filled. We outgrew that,” he said. “We’ve encountered many people that The Salvation Army has helped and heard many heart felt stories about how The Salvation Army has helped people in need when there was no where else to turn.”
He’s been seen the results of the toy run come around full circle. Bumper said the first couple years, the toy drive didn’t bring in a lot of toys so he purchased some himself. He said he can remember buying some dolls and a baskets ball. Two years ago a woman approached him crying. She told him how she benefited from the toy donations: her son wanted a basketball and she was able to get one through the toy shop.
If you are interested in donating this Tree of Lights season, there are many ways to do it: Angel Tree, WISH Tree, Red Kettles, visit www.salvationarmyindiana.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “GIVE” to 80888.