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Fulfilling kids' dreams, on two wheels or four

8:25 PM, Dec 25, 2009   |    comments
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But what he is making doesn't involve any reindeer, and no, he isn't Santa Claus.

According to Dave Russman, he is "Just a guy that cares about the kids."

Russman's Kawasaki motorcycle is one of thousands in The Children's Hospital Toy Run loaded up with toys each year. Dave's love of children and giving just simply outgrew those two wheels.

"It's getting to the point where I can't get enough on the bike," Russman explained.

That is how Dave Russman ended up at the Division of Motor Vehicles, asking the clerk to help him register his new homemade sleigh.

"She didn't know what to do and so she had to go talk to her supervisors. Well, it's not really a trailer. You don't need to put a plate on it. Any police officer that stops you and wants to give you a ticket for that has got to be out of his mind," Russman recalled the clerk saying.

The police didn't stand in his way the day of the Toy Ride. But the weather wouldn't allow a trip on two wheels. With snow flying, the bikers rode in on fire trucks to deliver all of the toys to the boys and girls in the hospital, with one exception.

"I still pulled it behind that ATV, it worked," Russman said laughing.

While the motorcycle remained at home, the sleigh still made the journey, to the delight of the children spending the holidays away from their homes.

And even though this year's Toy Run is still a fresh memory, Dave Russman has already started making his list for the big day next year.

"Let's say they have 100 rooms or beds and they have 600 of them filled and the average stay is a week. Well, every seven days they have a whole new group of people, and if they're giving toys out to even half of those, that's a lot of toys. So, the more we can give, the better off we are," Russman said.

As for all that work building the bright red trailer to pull all of those new toys? According to Dave, "It doesn't take all that much time to put it together, as far as a sleigh is concerned."

The list that other busy man in the workshop keeps most certainly has a place for Dave Russman, on the "Nice" side.

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