200 bikers ride in annual toy run to benefit needy children | NevadaAppeal.com

200 bikers ride in annual toy run to benefit needy children

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Dressed as Santa Claus, Ed Rhyne, 51, of Reno, stands on the side of a fire engine provided by the Warren Engine Company for the 20th annual toy run through Carson City on Sunday.

Bikers and bears, leather and Legos.

More than 200 motorcycle riders took to the streets of Carson City on Sunday afternoon to bring a better Christmas to needy children.

“We do it to raise money and toys for local children who need it,” said event organizer Don Cassinelli. “All these riders are charity-minded people, and we know that in order to have a Harley and ride like we do, you have to have a good job, and we don’t mind giving back.”

The run began at noon in North Carson and ended at the Carson Indian Colony Youth Center, where Rose Painter and eight members of her family were waiting with a hot meal.

“I like cooking for a lot of people, and the family always helps out so it’s just fun for us,” said Painter. “The riders love it. They enjoy riding like hell down Carson Street, and they like getting together and having a good meal.”

On the menu were 10 15-pound turkeys with all the fixings, including mashed potatoes, salad, buffalo chili and buffalo spaghetti.

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“I just enjoy watching all the different groups come in and enjoy themselves. They come riding in and it’s maddening, and then just as quickly, they leave,” Painter said.

Helping lead the way down Carson Street was Santa Claus atop a fire engine provided by the Warren Engine Company.

Ed Rhyne, who donned the red suit as Santa, complete with red hat, white beard and skull earring, said he participated to honor his motorcycle brother, who for years played the part, but recently died.

“This is my first time doing it, and I think it’s great. It’s a good thing for us to help kids that don’t have anything,” said Rhyne.

All of the donated toys and entry fees will help children in need of help and stay in the Carson City area.

This was the 20th year for the toy run. It averages between 200 and 400 motorcycles per year.

“We do the runs at different times in Carson and Reno and Tahoe so that we can help everyone we can and not step on each other’s toes,” said Cassinelli.

– Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.