A Run to Remember

CRUISING ALONG AT ABOUT 30 MPH, and paced by a Lyon County Sheriff’s deputy and Santa Claus, a long line of motorcyclists make their way toward Marshall from Amiret as part of the 2020 Toys 4 Tots Motorcycle Fun Run on Saturday. Photos / Per Peterson
THIS YEAR’s toys 4 tots run was an emotional one for curtis and ginger canfield, who donated a trailer full of toys that were collected by Curtis’ mother before she died.

This year’s Toys 4 Tots Run was scaled back because of COVID-19, but it was very memorable nonetheless

By Per Peterson

It was a ride like no other, for a number of reasons.

The 2020 Toys 4 Tots Motorcycle Fun Run, which took place Saturday, was notable for many reasons, other than all the toys and money it brought in for Heart to Heart and other organizations in the region. While the participation in this year’s event was down compared to previous runs because of the pandemic, the size of the event was overshadowed by both a feel-good story and a fond farewell to the event’s organizers.

Like other riders, Curtis and Ginger Canfield of Larchwood, Iowa, didn’t come empty-handed Saturday. Unlike other riders, they brought a trailer full of toys. But these weren’t just any toys.

As Curtis explained, his late mother, Marlene, was a bit of a pack-rat, and because she could only ride with so many toys, she accumulated them over the years. In her will, she decreed that all the unopened toys she left behind were to go to the Toys 4 Tots Run.

“By the time we got through the whole estate, we had about 12 boxes of toys,” said Curtis, a third-generation truck driver who is originally from Slayton.

Curtis’ father, Lorenz, used to take part in the Toys 4 Tots Run before he was killed in a head-on collision with a semi in 2018; his mother died six months later in 2019 of a brain aneurysm.

“Once we saw that in the will about the toys, we thought ‘Are you joking?’ Curtis said. “We had to go through the house and find them all. But it was worth it.”

And to make this story even better, Curtis was the winner of a $100 cash prize at the end of the day.

“How cool is that?” said one of the organizers Pam Cooreman. “That is awesome.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.