SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Santa Claus and his assistants rode in on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, carrying toys for young hospital patients in San Francisco on Sunday in the continuation of an annual tradition.

For nearly four decades–36 years and counting–Santa arrived early at San Francisco General Hospital. He wasn’t with his traditional sleigh and gang of reindeer. Instead, he and his leather-clad helpers from Harley-Davidson’s Golden Gate chapter were riding in on Harley hogs.

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The group’s annual fundraiser donates hundreds of toys for sick boys and girls who spend the holidays in the hospital, bringing some holiday cheer into what can be a dreary time for them and their families.

“It definitely supports the healing of our patients,” said Brandi Frazier, volunteer services manager at SF General.

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The annual fundraiser was started as a way to give thanks for the care Harley-Davidson SF’s founder, Thomas Perkins, received at the hospital after he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.

Perkins has since died, but the tradition he started to spread holiday cheer rolls on.

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The toys collected Sunday will be delivered by hospital staff to child patients at dates closer to the holidays.