AURORA, Colo. -- Thousands of bikers lined up in Aurora with one cause in mind: Bringing Christmas to kids at Children's Hospital Colorado who won't be able to celebrate at home.
For the 33rd year, bikers from across the state took to the road in an event that grows as the word spreads.
"Each year we just try to get bigger and better. Last year, we tried to top what we do. We had 2,000 bikes last year," said Tom Dill with Aurora Fire Rescue, which participated alongside other metro-area fire departments. "Basically, all we're looking for is to get bigger and bring in more toys," he added.
"The word is getting out and people want to do something for those kids -- the sick children -- and this is the best way to do it," noted biker and donor Lydia Morgan
The tough guys and gals lined up by the thousands in a parade to the hospital. Riding on decorated bikes, they brought plush teddy bears, dolls and other toys that will be given to children at the hospital this holiday season and beyond.
Melissa Vizcarra, Media Relations Specialist at Children's Hospital, said the event is always something to look forward to.
"It's a really special time for them to get these gifts from these big, burly people in leather and it's not intimidating. If anything, it touches their heart," Vizcarra said.
And another benefit to spreading holiday cheer to children in the hospital means dispelling myths that sometimes plague the biker lifestyle.
"Bikers aren't all that bad. We do this for the children, the kids, the sick ones at the hospital," Morgan said.
"[The children] to see the bikes come rolling in -- when we come in big masses -- it just lights their night up. Puts a smile on their face. Puts a smile on our face," said Dill.
What started as just a few dozen bikers has morphed into an enormous event that brings cheer to kids, riders and even hospital staff.
"It's a fun day for everyone at Children's Hospital, especially this time of year, these kids -- it's what they need," Vizcarra said.
Toys can be donated to Children's Hospital this holiday season and throughout the year.AlertMe