Santa Claus rode a Harley-Davidson and not his traditional sleigh this year to deliver joy and gifts to children in EPISD during the 32nd annual Chihuahuita Toy Run.
Santa lead dozens of other “elves” to visit several EPISD schools to pick up toys and other gifts that will benefit El Paso children in need. This holiday bike run has become a holiday tradition for the local biking community.
Cielo Vista Elementary students cheered as the more than 100 motorcycles roared onto campus for their first stop. Faculty, staff and students collected new and gently used toys to donate.
“We have been collecting toys for the children in the Chihuahuita community for more than 20 years,” Lydia Mendoza, aka Mrs. Claus, said.
She, along with Santa Claus and the other bikers, greeted students and passed out candy to show gratitude.
“I think it’s a good thing they are doing this, especially for kids that don’t have any toys,” Jaelyn said. “All these people taking time out of their day to do this for kids is great.”
Student Alberto Vasquez was excited the toys are going to kids who need them the most.
“This is a great way to help out kids, especially kids who may not have brothers or sisters,” Alberto said. “Donating these toys is really going to help.”
“Anything to help the kids is great,” Salcedo said. “I look forward to coming out to the schools and seeing the kids’ excitement and being part of this great tradition.”
Cielo Vista Principal Kathryn McMillan sees the toy run as a chance for students to learn good citizenship. Her school collected four boxes full of toys for the Chihuahuita Toy Run.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students to help those who have less,” McMillan said. “The toy run also demonstrates to them how the whole community beyond the school comes together to help. Plus, they think the motorcycles are cool.”
After stopping by Cielo Vista the bikers headed to MacArthur, Bonham and Hillside to collect more toys.
“We hope to collect around 300 to 500 toys,” event organizer Mickie Subia said. “The community always does a great job of helping us out.”
Subia says the toys will delivered from her house or the Chihuahuita Community Center the weekend before Christmas.