HISTORY OF THE TOY RUN
In 1987, the Toy Run had its start and at that time everyone was doing a toy drive, Veterans, Police, Motorcycle Clubs, Kawanis, etc. Bob Amchir, being President of Wings of Gold Motorcycle Club, got everyone together to have one big toy drive. The first year netted $965 cash and a little over 500 toys. There were about 700 motorcycles participating in the first event.
Since the very first Toy Run, it has steadily grown to massive proportions. It takes over 32 Motorcycle Clubs and Organizations to make this event happen. Over 30,000 motorcycles participate in this event each year and it is with the help of all police agencies, 22 Departments and 230 Officers, to close down three interstate highways and ensure a safe motorcade. There are over 200 police motor officers, as well as cars and PSA Personnel from all over South Florida. Sheriff Al Lamberti coordinates all the Departments with his Broward County Officers and motors to ensure the safety of this huge event, being even bigger than the annual boat parade. The parade now begins at the Mardi Gras Casino, Hallandale Beach, Florida. The motorcycles travel approximately 20 miles in length to Broward County Markham Park. It takes approximately three hours to get all the cycles to the end of the ride.
There are several rides for the kids, face painting, over 100 vendors selling everything from leather to boots to jewelry to sunglasses and more, a food court with a variety of foods to suit everyone, a huge bike show and entertainment throughout the day, plus much, much more.
Since the inception of the Annual SFPC Toys in the Sun Run, over $20 million in toys have been collected and handled by the Fraternal Order of Police and then distributed in four counties. The money raised from this event has exceeded the $11.5 million mark and we only ask the bikers for a $10 donation and a new unwrapped toy. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation is one of our main beneficiaries. The new Pediatric Trauma Center at Hollywood Memorial and the new free-standing Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital on Joe DiMaggio Drive in Hollywood, Florida, are the first in the world to honor all motorcyclists in South Florida. To contact Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, call Jackie Johnstone at the Foundation (954-985-3454). They will give you all the information on Bob Amchir and the SFPC and their commitment to the children.
This Toy Run being so vast, in the past 25 years it has not only given millions of dollars in toys to needy children and money to the Hospital, but has also donated over $200,000 to COPS Kids (Concerns of Police Survivors). Just last year, Shott Memorial received $10,000, Boys & Girls Clubs received $124,000 and so on. Not only does this yearly Toy Run help thousands of children, but adults as well. Part of our donation also benefit Cystic Fibrosis, Juvenile Diabetes, Cancer, Pre-Natal and much more. Because of our commitment to our community it is a huge undertaking not only for the health and well being, but have reached wonderful and humane goals.
An event such as this grows larger and larger each year, not only for the participants, but for everyone involved in the organization process. People from all over, New York, Boston, Detroit, California, Texas, etc, are beginning to attend. Much of our success goes to the bikers themselves.