We would like to express heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supports the annual Abilene Motorcycle Toy Run.  

Gratitude and respect go out to the 138 riders and their passengers who braved a cold north wind to deliver new toys for Abilene area children. We would also like to salute Abilene Post 39 Legion Riders and their families for helping with set-up, traffic control and clean-up on this Veterans Day weekend.  

A special shout out to Lonnie & Linda Creach and the Christmas elves for transporting a sleigh full of new toys along the parade route. Hats off to the Abilene Fire Department for escorting Santa through town and to the Abilene Police Department for keeping traffic, riders and spectators safe.

We appreciate Mark and Jackie Bisnette for donating a trailer in which to store the toys until Christmas. Thanks to Ron Shivers for sharing his sound system and to West’s Plaza Country Mart for providing chili ingredients. We appreciate the management of Shopko for donating gift cards, hot coffee and cookies and space in their parking lot for line up. And special thanks to the Junction City Walmart Store for contributing a mini bike, which each rider and passenger has an opportunity to win.

Each year, participants and family members gather at Sterl Hall after the parade for home-made chili, chicken and noodles, coffee and cookies. Thanks to Pat Cox and members of the former Eagles Ladies Auxiliary who help us feed the riders before they head home.

Abilene’s Toy Run would not be the same without the dedicated citizens of Abilene who bundle up and stand along the parade route, saluting the American flag and greeting riders.  All toys and donations collected during the toy run are donated to the Abilene Toys 4 Tots program. Anyone wishing to make financial contributions in support of the 2017 Abilene Toys for Tots program should contact Jackie Bisnette at Pinnacle Bank.

We continue to miss Gary Houser’s enthusiastic presence. 2018 will mark 20 years since the three of us decided to launch a motorcycle toy run in Abilene. We appreciate everyone who makes this event possible, year after year. We do it for the kids.

— Don and Pat Ackerman, Abilene

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