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Delaware Valley Chapter


A.B.A.T.E of Pennsylvania

P.O. Box 1328

Havertown, Pa. 19083-1328



Double Click To View PictureCompassion and commitment are the words and principles behind the organizers of this charitable event which has been held annually since 1980.  The "Toy Run For The Kids' committee members from the Delaware Valley Chapter of A.B.A.T.E of Pennsylvania began planning in February for this years LARGEST MOTORCYCLE PARADE IN THE WORLD which brings gifts and goodwill to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and its affiliates. Their goal-cheering up sick youngsters.

Most of our children are  physically healthy and able to participate in many activities like sporting  and cultural events, parties and family gatherings. Now imagine how different those experiences might be if your child, or a child close to you, were challenged with a serious illness.... a child confined to a hospital bed or slowed by crutches or a wheel chair...a child separated from friends and family.. a child who spends lonely nights with little to hope for. "Our goal is to provide a vital outlet for children suffering with the pain and depression associated with stress and isolation of critically serious illness," said Dominick Sciole, Chairman of the Toys for Tots committee. The event is "FOR THE KIDS"- a phrase coined by Dom and known by most to signify this Christmas program which takes the form of a motorcycle cruise through the city of Philadelphia.

The 'Toy Run For The Kids' participants made their first run on December 13, 1980 from a parking lot at Broad Street and Cheltanham Avenue. Approximately 50 motorcycles tooled city streets following the lead of Mike Horton and Denny Waldman, the Chapters President and treasurer, respectively who conceived the idea to dispel the bikers "bad guy" image.

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Since the first run, the charitable endeavors of this premier program have grown in gargantuan proportions. The joy of Christmas is now brought to these children and their families through a showing of over 62,000 motorcycles and the donated number of toys exceeding 100,000 in count!

Through the years, as notoriety of this successful toy collection has expanded, so has the wealth of support. Celebrities such as the Mayor of Philadelphia, State Representative Teresa Forcier, the Phillie Phanatic, Santa Claus, recording artist Meatloaf, and actor Randell "Tex" Cobb, have given their time and talent to endorse the event. The number of sponsors has increased while their promotional initiatives and generous contributions continue to play important roles in our campaigning efforts. And "bikers" now hail from all states in the Mid-Atlantic Region. They arrive riding solo, in groups of 5 to 50, and in masses as large as 150! They arrive riding personalized machines of every make and model, sporting leathers, displaying tattoos, looking burley and bad, all of which belie the caring, compassionate, and kind individuals they are.

But despite the change in size and recognition, one thing has remained constant through the years: to bring the joy of Christmas to the children and a smile to their faces. "If we can help take a kids attention away from his illness or pain for even five minutes, then we've accomplished something," said Santa Claus, also known as Tony Graessie of Southwest Philadelphia. After all, it's "FOR THE KIDS!"


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