Le Mars - The line of motorcycles stretched over the horizon, the rumble of a hundred V-twin engines making the cattle in the fields wonder what could cause the ruckus. The group traveled over a hundred miles through farmland and the winding roads of the Loess Hills - followed the whole way by a truck loaded to the brim with children's toys.
"It's what we do," said Randall "Snowman" Luschen of Merrill. "We collect toys and give'em away. What better thing to do?" As president of the Independent Riders for Children and Charities (IRCC), Snowman has worked many long hours with his group to secure toys for underprivileged children. Vice president Bob Helwig of Sioux Center spoke up, "Every child should have a gift for the holidays. In these times of economic crisis it's more important than ever that we lend a hand."
The group holds a "toy run" every August. Participants pay a small fee and donate a toy in exchange for a day of sharing their passion for motorcycles and going on a ride together.
IRCC members will meet with leaders of the Le Mars Head Start, Ste 103, 180 10th St SE, Le Mars, on Dec. 6 at 9:30 a.m. They'll present the toys to the Head Start staff, who will then wrap the gifts and discreetly distribute them to the parents of the children before the holidays. "That way the children all have a gift from their parents," Snowman explained. "Some parents simply can't afford to buy a toy for their children."
The IRCC has also set aside funds for the Boy Scouts, Council for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, in Sioux City the Gingerbread House in Storm Lake, the Siouxland Sleep Out, and a family in Alta who needs help.