SPRINGFIELD — The children served by Brightside for Families and Children will be the recipients of the annual Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive and Motorcycle Run. The three-day event will begin on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4, at the Walmart store at 591 Memorial Dr. in Chicopee. During those two days, new unwrapped toys, gift cards, and monetary donations will be collected from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, the Motorcycle Run portion of the event will proceed from Walmart to Mercy Medical Center at 299 Carew St. in Springfield, starting at 11 a.m. The entry fee for the ride will be one new, unwrapped toy per rider. Toys collected during the event will also be distributed to needy children through Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee.
Event organizers are Bruce Rivest, Melvyn Hook, and Peter Silvano, who have worked to make the Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive a successful annual event. Rivest originally contacted the Philanthropy Department at Mercy Medical Center about coordinating a toy drive for Brightside. Adopted as a child himself from Brightside in 1970, Rivest knows firsthand the importance Brightside plays in the local community.
“We are grateful to be able to continue this annual tradition,” he said. “It’s so important to ensure that every child and family supported by Brightside and Lorraine’s has hope and joy this holiday season.”
Major sponsors of the Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive and Motorcycle Run are Custom Identity Apparel, Indian Motorcycle of Springfield, in memory of Patrick Rud, Moose Family Fraternity, Sons of Mothers MC, Long Riders MC, Cosmo’s Factory, Z.Z. & Co.y BBQ, Red’s Towing and Recovery, ATC Audio Video and Lighting, Renegade Souls RC, Christian Motorcyclists Assoc., Massachusetts Motorcycle Assoc., Crippled Old Busted Bikers, Polish Brotherhood, FLNY Ryderz, Chicopee Police, Springfield Police, 94.7 WMAS, Elks Riders Lodge 1481, Walmart, the Hanley Family, and Philly’s Motorcycle Detailing.
For more information, or to make a donation to the Brightside Toy Drive and Motorcycle Run, visit the event’s Facebook age at www.facebook.com/brightsidetoydrive.