By Travis Sloat
Ruben Kisner said he’d been riding motorcycles and living in Fort Gibson off and on for most of his life.
“I just felt guilty about participating in other rides and not having one for my hometown,” Kisner said. “I have four more rides planned out for this year.”
Yhe Christian Motorcycle Association held its first annual Toy Ride for Fort Gibson on Saturday. Kisner was in charge of the event, which will provide toys for needy children in town for Christmas.
About 50 bikers showed up in full force, but the stuffed animals, board games, and other toys they had strapped to their backseats offset the aggressive sound of their motorcycles as they congregated.
Jim Ratterree, a Fort Gibson resident and CMA member, rode in on his 1983 Honda Goldwing and said he thought the event was “wonderful.”
“I’m out here to have a good time and provide toys for needy kids,” Ratterree said. “I’ll be in Wagoner tomorrow (for another toy ride). It gives me a good feeling to know that someone who might not have a Christmas can have one now.”
After gathering in the parking lot, they were treated to coffee and donuts courtesy of the CMA team. From there, they fired up the bikes and received a police escort across to the Fort Gibson Church of Christ, where they unloaded the gifts and delivered them.
Vonda Haddock, who is the secretary for CMA, said she and her husband Gene didn’t ride their bikes in — only because they were driving a truck and pulling a trailer for the toys.
“This is for everybody in the Fort Gibson area,” Haddock said. “The weather for the day couldn’t be any better. A lot of times when we do these things it’s sleeting or snowing. We do about 10 or 12 of these every year and we get two or three toys per bike sometimes. It’s a great thing.”
Haddock gave Kisner the credit for getting the Fort Gibson area Toy Ride started this year.
“He got us thinking about it,” Haddock said. “We think it’s a great idea to include Fort Gibson, and we can’t wait to make this an annual thing.”