Sunday, 6:45 AM? - no problem. 20 degrees? -
balmy compared to Nome,
Alaska. This was the attitude of the 10 AGWA-IL Chapter H members when
they met at their usual Sunday ride departure point (McDonalds) to
participate in the 23rd annual Chicagoland Toys For Tots Motorcycle
Parade on 12/3/00.
For those not familar with the Chicago Toys for Tots
run, here's how it
all started (as quoted from their web page -
"The date was December 13, 1978. This was the date
Edward P. (Aminal)
Wisniewski originated the Chicagoland Toys For Tots Motorcycle Parade.
The first-run was on a cold, windy typical Chicago winter day. The run
started from Fantasy Choppers on 63rd Street. Not too bad; they were
only two hours behind schedule, in a van packed about one-third full
with toys, and Aminal was riding Puppy's bike because his ride was down.
Did you know that Aminal owned the shop? Pretty embarrassing for a shop
The six original people in the run were Aminal, Puppy,
Princess, Namu, and Thor. They headed to the Glenview Naval Air Station.
They almost reached their destination when Aminal lost the chain from
the bike. To complete the event, as a
motorcycle run, Aminal was towed by Puppy arm in arm from the van for
about three miles. They made it to the Naval Station and dropped off the
toys. This was a beginning of what we now know as the Chicagoland Toys
For Tots Motorcycle Parade."
After leaving McDonalds, we met more AGWA-IL members
at the I-294
Hinsdale Oasis and proceeded to the Dan Ryan Woods forest preserve at
83rd & Western Ave. in Chicago.
The sun came out and made everyone feel a little warmer.
Even though a
bit on the "cool" side, it looked like there were about twice as many
bikes as compared to last year (when the weather was REALLY lousy!).
The first wave of bikes left promptly at 9:30AM.
Since we had gotten
there early, we left with first wave of bikes, but still did not get
"out of the gate" until 9:45AM, due to the large number of bikes!
After dropping off our our toys and riding the 17 miles
up Western Ave.,
we had to stop for some nourishment - this was of course, necessary so
that we would have the strength to make it home. :0) While we were
partaking of the nourishment, Mark Brenton made a major sacrifice for
Chapter H by grudgingly agreeing to eat the extra piece of blueberry pie
that no one else wanted! - thanks Mark!
As it is every year, this was a very rewarding experience.
I know it doesn't sound like much, but because of our
children will have something under the tree this year that might not
have gotten anything if we hadn't went.
Ride Safe & Happy Holidays to all!
Mike & Sue Hanus
AGWA-IL Chapter H