Toys 4 Tots

Linda Creach, from left, Sharon Frase, Nita Neff  and Tori Murphy filled several shopping carts with toys, games, crafts, hats and mittens for Abilene Toys 4 Tots at the Junction City Walmart. These items will fill Santa’s sleigh at the annual Toy Run at 2 p.m. Saturday. Funds for the shopping spree came from the I Gave for Toys 4 Tots motorcycle games Oct. 19.

Reindeer games are good for reindeer, but for kids’ Christmas gifts, what you want are motorcycle games.

A group of bike riders helped motorcycle games Oct. 19 to raise money for Toys 4 Tots, said Linda Creach, who was in charge of the games.

The group raised $2,248 for Toys 4 Tots through the games, raffles and auction items contributed by people from around town. The group charged admission and entrance fees to games like jousting and slow ride and double slow ride where the last rider across the finish line won. In many instances, Creach said, riders donated their prize money back to the cause.

This was about an average year for money raised, Creach said. They’ve raised as much as $3,500 in the past. A lot depends on the weather the day of the games, she said.

Members of the group spent three to four hours Saturday filling Creach’s Suburban with dolls, model kits, arts and crafts, games, and hats and gloves at the Junction City Walmart for ages infant to 12 years old.

“Every kid gets a hat and gloves, toothbrush and toothpaste,” Creach said, as well as toys.

Those are the toys that will be in Santa’s sleigh as he leads the annual Toy Run on Sunday.

Motorcycle riders will start at Lumber House True Value at 2 p.m., parade through town, many with new toys on the backs of their motorcycles, and end up at Sterl Hall for a chili feed provided by members of the former Eagles Ladies Auxiliary.

American Legion Riders Chapter 30 organizes the parade led by Santa and an American flag. Residents are encouraged to come out to salute the flag and riders along the parade route.

Last year, 368 Dickinson County kids received Toys 4 Tots.

This is the 21st year for the Toy Run and the 11th for the motorcycle games, Creach said.

Creach works with her motorcycle group and the Legion and is treasurer of the Toys 4 Tots committee and all three groups work together to collect toys.

She expects 60 to 100 riders in the parade and as many as 200 if the weather is halfway decent, she said.

You don’t have to ride a motorcycle, though, to help.

Billy Hansen, chairman of Toys 4 Tots, said donation boxes are going up around town for cash and new toy donations. The toys must be new, he said.

Money can be dropped off or mailed to Jessica Pickering at Pinnacle Bank.

Some groups, such as Memorial Health System, raised $250 for Toys 4 Tots with an employees’ jeans day on Oct. 31.

Registration for kids to participate in Toys 4 Tots is held in conjunction with the Church Women United registration at Saint Andrew’s Church Parish Hall in Abilene on Dec. 4, 5 and 6.

Legal guardians must register in person for their children on one of those days.

Gifts will be distributed Dec. 14 at Sterl Hall.

Those who started the I Gave for Toys 4 Tots motorcycle group are Lonnie and Linda Creach, Doug and Sharon Frase, David and Nita Neff, and Tori Murphy.

Sponsors of the Toy Run include Abilene Lumber House True Value, Ackerman Welding, West’s Country Mart, Abilene Chapter 39 Legion Riders, Junction City Walmart and members of the former Eagles Ladies’ Auxiliary.

Contact Jean Bowers at reporter2@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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