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Easter run to help Children’s Hospital

By Staff | Apr 8, 2009

The arrival of Easter has come to mean a lot more to the children of Lee County than hunting eggs and eating chocolate bunnies.
The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Harley Owners Group is embarking on its sixth year of collecting toys, games, and arts and crafts supplies for the Children’s Hospital at Health Park.
The run brings together motorcyclists from around Lee County and beyond to collect toys for the children.
Harley Owners Group member Ron Cox said the run started when the chapter’s president, Jack Fenwick, took a tour of a local neonatal intensive care unit and wanted to reach out to the children, especially during the holidays.
“At Christmas time a lot of the (motorcycle) clubs do toy runs for kids and families, but nobody does anything at Easter,” Cox said. “Other than Christmas, Easter is the worst time to be in the hospital. So, Jack got a hold of a bunny costume and that’s how it started.”
The 21-mile police-escorted ride will have FOX4’s “Wild” Bill Wood as its honorary grand marshall.
Cox said Wood is not a motorcyclist, but he has done so much to help promote HOG’s events over the years that the chapter felt it was proper to have him as the face of this year’s run.
“As a way of saying thank you for your support, we invited him to be our grand marshall,” he said.
Pre-registration for the ride will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. today at Victory Lane Cafe on Hancock Bridge Parkway, and on Saturday morning at Harley Davidson of Fort Myers.
Cox and crew are expecting 550 riders to show for this year’s run, a number that is higher than last year’s 452.
Cox is not concerned that the ailing economy will have any affect on their fund-raising efforts.
“When it comes to kids, motorcyclists have big hearts and deep pockets,” he said.
The ride departs at 11 a.m. sharp Saturday from Harley Davidson in Fort Myers, and concludes with a free pig roast at Jimmy Pink Cadillac for all riders after the run.
The ride is open to all motorcyclists, regardless of the brand of motorcycle they ride.
For more information, contact Ron Cox at 772-8550 or 691-6969.