It was a beautiful day for a toy run Saturday and Kansas ABATE District No. 3 members turned out in droves to make sure all the kiddos in the area receive a gift on Christmas morning. As most people know, providing holiday toys for children is a struggle for low-income families therefore ABATE's mission is to ease those burdens for the parents.

More than 200 bikers on motorcycles and in cars and trucks gathered at Riverside Park Oval to kick off their 37th annual Kansas ABATE District No. 3 Toy Run. The parade of vehicles was cheered on by many who lined the route to watch the bikes make their run to the Community Access Center. Riders from all over southeast Kansas joined the event.

Thousands of brand new toys for boys and girls were delivered to the center and will benefit the Adopt-A-Family project which works to provide a holiday experience for those who otherwise may not have one. 

Adopt-A-Family Chairman Jim Kelley said, "The Independence Adopt-A-Family program greatly appreciates the support we receive each year from the toy run sponsored by Kansas ABATE District No. 3. Without the toys donated by these generous ABATE members, we would not be able to provide Christmas gifts to near as many deserving children. This year the weather was perfect, the participants were many and the number of toys donated were amazing. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Kansas ABATE District No. 3 members who participated this past Saturday."

Toy distribution will begin in mid-December beginning by fulfilling the wish lists of those families not adopted to make sure they have a bright and merry Christmas morning. The huge variety of toys received Saturday should complete many lists the program has received so far.

After the riders dropped their goodies off to CAC, they traveled out to the American Legion, Harold R. Andrews Post 139, for food, fun and fellowship.

To become an Adopt-A-Family sponsor, contact Debbie Moses at Community National Bank and Trust, 620-332-3119.

To see more photos of the event, visit the IDR website: