By Ron Cox
Around Southwest Florida it’s become common knowledge that the Saturday before Easter Sunday belongs to the Southwest Florida’s HOG Chapters annual Easter Bunny Toy Run.
On April 7th 987 riders/passengers on 750 motorcycles assembled at Harley-Davidson of Ft. Myers to bring toys, boxed games and arts/crafts supplies to the patients at Children’s Hospital at HealthPark. The 9th Annual Easter Bunny Toy Run has become the largest and most well attended in its brief history. The Run is also regarded as the second largest run for charity in Southwest Florida.
Led by deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, motor units and patrol cars with sirens blaring and red/blue lights flashing pulled out of the HDFM parking lot at 11am sharp. Riders negotiated the 17-mile course and pulled into the hospital grounds about 40 minutes later. Waiting to wave and greet each and every rider were all the ambulatory patients who were brought down to the entrance by their caregivers.
The mass of riders worked their way into The Atrium where a huge crate decorated to look like an Easter Basket was waiting. The crate was quickly filled to overflowing and several large linen containers on wheels were brought in to catch the hundreds of toys that spilled over.
Lee Memorial Health System President Jim Nathan and Children’s Hospital President Dan Fink each spoke briefly, thanking the riders for their participation and generosity. The riders appreciated the minimum “speechifying” and headed back to HDFM for the free lunch, entertainment, beverages and relaxation. The riders left with the satisfaction of knowing what good they had done and in plenty of time to start preparing for Easter dinner.