ANGLETON — In its 37th year, the Goe Harley-Davidson Toy Run was a success Sunday, bringing in more than 200 bikers and toy donations.
The event was started by Howard Goe and had only around 30 bikers its first year.
“It’s grown a lot since it started,” Goe said. “It’s great that so many people want to come out and support. It’s all for the kids.”
To participate in the event, attendees had to bring a new, unopened toy or give a monetary donation.
“Everything goes to the Salvation Army,” Goe said. “As long as we can help the kids have a merry Christmas, it’s worth it.”
Capt. Stephanie Vincent of the Salvation Army in Freeport is thankful for the donations.
“Every year it’s been amazing. I get a little choked up when I see all the bikes that they donate and toys that they bring,” Vincent said.
“It’s so nice to see the community come together and the giving spirit they have.”
The toys will be distributed to families in need of Chri stmas presents for their children.
“The donations help us fulfill all our angels. We’re going to make sure all the kids have a great Christmas,” Vincent said.
The Salvation Army in Freeport and Howard Goe have a great relationship, Vincent said.
“Words can’t describe it. It does my heart so much good and puts a big smile on my face to know there are people out there who truly love and care about the community and want to help out,” Vincent said.
Danette Depratter, Salvation Army volunteer, believes events like the toy run bring the local community together.
“I know the bikers are going to make a lot of children happy, a lot of children that don’t have families who can afford it,” Depratter said. “The city of Freeport is very giving, and this is one time our community really pulls together.”
The bikers attending support the efforts made by the Salvation Army.
“It’s always great to give back to everybody that is in need,” biker Robert Bacon said. “My wife and I ride in every charity event we can.”
There were many first-time participants at the event.
“I’m excited, it’s my first time here,” said Sergio Gomez, with the Aztec Riders. “We all have our moments where times get rough, so it’s always good to support other individuals who can relate and give back.”
Parrish Gayle, a biker from Angleton, has participated in the event for 28 years.
“Today we had good weather, so we have a lot of riders out here,” Gayle said. “Donating a toy is a small thing we can do in the grand scheme of things to help others. It’s great seeing everyone out here to support the same goal and same idea to give back to the kids and the community.”