Hundreds of bikers in Moore, Oklahoma, handed out Christmas cheer Sunday to children battling cancer.
“For most of the kids, it’s a big surprise. And it’s a really emotional experience to go on the ride, so it has a pretty profound impact on both the families and the riders,” said Darrin Bayman, general manager of the Fort Thunder Harley-Davidson dealer.
Sunday, the leather-clad bikers filed out of the dealership parking lot on their way to deliver toys to children in Oklahoma City, Moore, and Norman, according to the Norman Transcript.
The Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral (OKK) Toy Ride has been an annual event for the dealership for the past few years, and each year the ride adds more participants.
“It’s wonderful because it’s so visible,” said Keith. “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and when you’re coming through with all the police force, the law enforcement, the loud bikes and Santa Claus, everybody sees it. They know, and it keeps what we’re doing on people’s minds.”
This year, the ride brought gifts to six children with cancer and surprise visits to the OK Kids Korral, where families of children battling cancer can stay during their treatment.
The website stated:
OK Kids Korral helps make life a little easier for children with cancer by providing a safe, convenient, and hopeful place for families to connect with each other and focus on the well-being of their child. OK Kids Korral provides daytime and overnight lodging for pediatric patients and their families. The state of the art facilities at OK Kids Korral are designed to create a relaxing haven for the entire family.
For the past few years, OKK and Fort Thunder have partnered with the Moore Fire Department to collect donations for the department’s annual Santa Express program.
Assistant Fire Marshall Darren Sigmen said every year, the Santa Express provides gifts and essentials to about 600 children living in Moore.
“It’s a very big impact — it helps these families that can’t help themselves, that may have somebody missing a parent, somebody may have cancer, the kids may be sick — you never know what is happening in their family,” he stated.
Bayman said for many of the bikers, this is not their first year to participate.
“Most of the riders that are here, once they’ve gone on the ride once, they typically come back and do it again because it is such an emotional and moving experience.”