Santa's Helpers spent Saturday raising funds and gathering toys for children
|Riders young and old participated in the event.|
When Bill Ruehman relocated to Emery from Tulsa, Okla. he discovered there was no group sponsoring a ride to raise money and collect toys for needy children in the community for Christmas. Back in Oklahoma, there were motorcycle groups who would promote these rides and gather toys for children. Ruehman began to explore the possibilities of organizing such a ride. Four years ago, the First Annual Riders for Santa toy run was born. It began in Castle Dale.
Riders in the runs donate toys or money to be distributed to children in the community. This year, as in past years, Arch of Hope, formerly Sub for Santa, handles the donations and distribution of the gathered items to children in Emery County. Ruehman works with Tracy Omen and Laurel Magnuson from Arch of Hope to ensure the toys get to where they are needed and all donations stay local.
Riders for Santa welcomed all vehicles, not just motorcycles, to participate in the ride. It began at Stewarts in Castle Dale proceeded west on Main Street to Center Street, then north to Highway 29. The riders headed west to Orangeville and regrouped at the city park for BBQ Beef and turkey dinners and more. This year, the procession included 4-wheelers, jeeps and motorcycles, and people of all ages participated.
|Riders for Santa make the turn into Orangeville and converge on the park for lunch.|
Not only do participants gain the personal satisfaction of knowing they contributed to a happy holiday for a child, but they get to rub elbows and trade stories with riders from all over the state of Utah. Riders from Richfield, Vernal, Delta, Pleasant Grove, Emery County, Helper and Price took part.
The group raised over $1,000 in cash donations and took in a pick up truck load of toys. Consol and Red Cliff Mining also made contributions.