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Firefighters, motorcycle group deliver hundreds of toys for needy families this holiday season.



The unmistakable sound of motorcycle engines filled Hillsboro on Saturday, as riders escorted holiday gifts and presents through town on their way to needy families this winter.

More than 100 motorcyclists made their way through Hillsboro on Saturday, Nov. 17, delivering hundreds of toys as part of the annual Stan Johnston Memorial Toy Run. For more than 30 years, members of the Washington County's A.B.A.T.E. motorcycle group have delivered toys to needy families, taking the toys on a ride from Century Boulevard through town to the Hillsboro Elks Lodge.

The event is organized by Hillsboro Firefighters Random Acts, a nonprofit run by local firefighters which provides community service through town, Random Acts' annual Toy 'N Joy program donates cash and toys to more than 650 families in the Hillsboro area.

Most of the toys were packed into a large trailer and delivered to the Elks Lodge on Saturday, but many riders choose to carry the items to the drop-off site themselves, said Hillsboro firefighter Dan King, who organized the event.

The Hillsboro Elks Lodge will package the toys into gift boxes, King said, which will be delivered to more than 1,700 children through the Hillsboro Elks and the Hillsboro Fire Department. Deliveries of food and toys will take place in mid-December.

A.B.A.T.E. — which stands for A Brotherhood against Totalitarian Enactments — has been helping collect toys for the program since the 1980s.

Saturday's toy drive is only part of the yearly Toy & Joy program. Toy barrels are set up at each Hillsboro fire station and the Hillsboro Civic Center lobby to accept donations of new, unwrapped toys for local children. Donations will be collected Dec. 6. The group is also raising money to purchase additional toys for families this winter.


Christopher Oertell
Photographer
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