PORT McNEILL—The long-awaited return of the rain to the North Island dampened turnout but not enthusiasm as the annual Toy and Rod Run returned to benefit local children.
Motorcycle riders from across the Island carried toys and other gifts on the Saturday jaunt from Port McNeill to Port Hardy. They returned to gather at the pub at the Dalewood Inn, which recently has been purchased and renovated by Annie Leblanc and Dawn Harilstad, co-organizers of the Toy and Rod Run.
There, the toys were gathered up to be given to the local Lions Club for distribution with the Gazette Christmas hampers.
An additional fundraiser followed at Leblanc’s Hyde Creek home with the ninth annual Pig Roast and Stomp, featuring a meal of roast pig and salmon and followed by live music by the Jam Shack Araknids.
“Attendance was great, considering the weather,” said Leblanc.
Money from ticket sales is donated to local beneficiaries. To date, the Pig Roast and Stomp has raised more than $22,000 for causes ranging from Port McNeill Hospital to cancer victims to Civil Air Search and Rescue and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 50.
“Wherever the need is,” said Leblanc.