25 years of Riding & giving

Led by a sheriff’s deputy and Santa, the convoy of bikes leaves Amiret.
Five-year-old Abel Dolney, 5, who rode with his father, Adam Dolney, in the Toys 4 Tots Fun Run on Saturday, was the youngest participant in this year’s event.

Toys 4 Tots Fun Run has a history of goodwill that dates back to 1992

By Per Peterson

Tam Schons has seen the convoy of Toys 4 Tots Fun Run bikers line County Road 9 out of Amiret for many years, but she still gets that “feeling.”
“There is nothing better than the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you ride from Amiret to Marshall and you see all the bikes, and they are all there to help support such a great cause,” said Schons.
More than 220 bikers and riders took over the small town of Amiret for a couple hours Saturday morning to celebrate 25 years of giving back with the Toys 4 Tots Fun Run.
“It was a beautiful day for a Toys 4 Tots run,” said Schons, a Toys 4 Tots committee member. “Although we were saddened that the attendance was down from over 300 last year, the event went well.”
From the Roaring Lyons Motorcycle Club in Amiret, the bikers got a sheriff’s escort south on Lyon County Road 9 to Hwy. 19 into Marshall. They then went down East College Drive and looped around onto Main Street to this year’s toy drop-off site, Brau Brothers, where Heart to Heart representatives were waiting to accepts their donations of toys and money.
Brandy Ricketts was one of a number of Heart-to-Heart volunteers who helped receive and sort the hundreds of donations in Marshall.
“We’ve had so much local support, so much community involvement,” she said. “This is our largest toy fundraiser. It’s such a great feeling knowing we’re a part of this together, that we look out for one another.”
After leaving Marshall, bikers had their choice of two different routes. One went west to establishments in Wabasso, Comfrey, Westbrook and back closer to Tracy to Key Largo. The other route brought bikers and riders to restaurants in Hendricks, Ghent, St. Leo, Tyler and Balaton. Everyone ended up back in Tracy at The Caboose for live music, food and a silent auction.
Loren Lindstrom, who has been riding in the event for nearly 20 years, said the Fun Run gives bikers a reason to ride their bike — and a good one at that.
“It gives you purpose,” he said. “We generate a few dollars for them. It’s a worthwhile event. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Al Goergen has been a part of all 25 Fun Run events and liked what he saw from the weather Saturday morning.
“Got a little breeze, plenty of sunlight,” Goergen said. “Weather makes or breaks it, and today is a pretty nice day. You can tell the real die hards when it rains; I remember riding in the rain a couple times. I just do it — rain or shine. Toys 4 Tots is a good fundraiser for the kids.”

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.