Published December 01, 2012
35th Olympia Toy Run: If you didn't see it, you likely heard itROLF BOONE
Thousands of motorcyclists were undeterred by unusually poor conditions Saturday, gathering at South Sound Center in Lacey and riding to Marathon Park in Olympia to complete the 35th annual Olympia Toy Run. As usual, co-founder Joe Sullivan, 69, was dressed as Santa Claus, ready to lead the motorcycle pack across town. Before the Toy Run’s 1 p.m. start, he was busy posing for pictures and handing out candy canes to children. Sullivan expected 17,000 to 18,000 motorcyclists, although the numbers appeared to be lower about an hour before the bikers left on their journey. Participants donate money or toys, which the Salvation Army distributes through its Toy ’n’ Joy Shop. The goal was $200,000 worth of toys and gifts, Sullivan said. Duane Duey, 56, of Lacey, who wasn’t bothered by the rain, has participated in the Toy Run for several years. “It snowed a couple of years ago, and it didn’t stop me,” he said. Duey added that he likes to give to children who really need it. Kaitlynn Lovik and her mother, Dena, both of Olympia, took part for the first time. Kaitlynn Lovik, 20, had ridden dirt bikes before, but she finally bought her own motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Street Bob, she said. She was delivering a teddy bear that was stuffed into her backpack. Not only was it her first time riding in the Toy Run, it was her first time to ride in the rain, which “was really nerve-wracking, but now I’m OK,” she said. Dena Lovik, 54, was riding with a friend, delivering a gigantic rag doll, she said. “I’ve always wanted to do this,” Lovik said. Bikers followed the same route as last year, which was changed to improve access to Providence St. Peter Hospital and the new fire station off Lilly Road. The run headed west down Pacific Avenue, to State Avenue, then south on Capitol Way, and west onto Fifth Avenue and south on Deschutes Parkway, ending at Marathon Park. The run once went down Martin Way and ended at the Capitol. Olympia police Sgt. Paul Johnson said there were no incidents at Saturday’s Toy Run.