Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run
Toys for Tots
On December 13, 1978, Ed "Aminal" Wisniewski organized a toy parade to provide Christmas presents to underprivileged children in Chicago. The first parade had six participants, one motorcycle, and a van full of toys. By 2003, the parade had 40,000 motorcyclists. By 2012, there were 70,000 and the Chicagoland Toys for Tots parade is now the largest motorcycle parade in the world, providing tens of thousands of children with brand-new presents for Christmas.
The organization also sets up toy boxes in local businesses to collect more toys. The boxes are set up when the season kicks off in September, but fundraising efforts continue throughout the year to defer the cost of the parade itself and to purchase more toys. Chicagoland Toys for Tots volunteers distribute these toys to individuals, group homes, shelters, hospitals and youth groups throughout the city. The toys collected at the annual parade are donated to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, making Chicagoland Toys for Tots its single largest contributor. We are otherwise unaffiliated with the Marine Corps. For more information on our relationship with the Marines, click here. If you'd like to reach the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, please visit their website, www.toysfortots.org, or call 773-539-6464 ext. 311.
IIn support for our verterans who have given so much so that we can enjoy what we have.
Manteno Veterans Ride
Who do we support
There are many fine organizations in the motorcycling community and we believe that they all can benefit from our support. But over the years there have been organizations that our membership has voiced that they would like to be more involved with and support. Please find the listing of those organizations below..
At Shady Oaks Camp, we create outstanding camp experiences that enrich the lives of our campers. Shady Oaks Camp accomplishes this by providing outdoor fun and recreational opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
To provide people of all ages and backgrounds, with a disability, the same recreational opportunities that their peers without disabilities enjoy in a summer camp setting. We believe camp provides an opportunity for personal growth, increased self-esteem and social skills building. We strive to create a space for our campers that promotes safety, independence, supportive care and attention based on the individuals needs and goals.
Big Bikes Helping Little Tykes
“The outlook for a child with cancer and leukemia has dramatically improved over the past 25 to 30 years, and because so many children are, fortunately, surviving, these camps are needed.” Edward S. Baum, MD, founder ofthe One Step At A Time programs.
The One Step At A Time camps offer safe, normal fun to kids regardless of their need for medical treatment.The status of the child’s therapy does not influence eligibility for camp or participation in camp activities. Children may be undergoing therapy, completely off therapy or have no further therapy available. Health professionals are continuously on site to provide blood counts, chemotherapy or any other medical assistance that might be required.
The One Step At A Time camps have physicians, nurses, medical technicians donating their time and energy on a voluntary basis. Some of them do particpate as members of the care-giving team while many others simply act as primary cabin counselors. For all of them, camp provides a unique and a challenging opportunity where they can interact with the children socially, as friends and mentors as well as care-givers. Most volunteer health professionals are associated with the same hospital-based oncology programs where the campers are or have been patients.
“When you see the smiles on these kids’ faces, it’s wonderful . . .” The camps give them a chance to just be normal kids again and put their experiences as hospital patients behind for a while. . . . I still marvel at what some of them can do.” Diane Mesh, the summer camp Director stated. The One Step At A Time programs are open to any child with cancer orleukemia between the ages of 7 through 20 being treated in Illinois, Wisconsin, or northern Indiana. Children from other states may also participate, depending on availablity of space
2015 Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run
This event starts with a run to the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall. Line up starts at 6:00AM and there is a pancake breakfast there. Starting place Grundy County Fairgrounds, Morris, IL on June 20th 2015. At 1:00PM there is a ceremony honoring all the fallen and their families with guest speaker Rockie Lynne. Rockie is a nationally known country western singer, veteran and patriot. He is loved by the Gold Star families and of course the rest of us. He will speak and perform in honor of the families and the fallen. Rockie is also the founder of Tribute to the Troops that visit the Gold Star families to make sure they know they are not forgotten. After the ceremony there will be a a large event in town hosted by the Town of Marseilles with bands, vendors, food and a super good time. Rockie Lynne will be opening the event there too. It is going to be a great year. Talk to Rockie at Grundy and see him in Marseilles. See you there.