Saturday’s event is in its 15th year
In its first year, Marion County Toy Run attracted about 30 or 35 participants. In the years since, the event has seen crowds as large as 120 motorcycles and a dozen cars, said organizer Kim Abrahams of rural Hillsboro.
“We’re trying to give as many kids a good Christmas as we can,” Abrahams said.
Marion County Toy Run began when Abrahams, Mike Sechler, and Ron Funk, also of Hillsboro, were asked about the possibility of starting a toy run in Marion County.
Since then, Marion County Toy Run has collected toys and raised money to help families in need.
“In the past 14 years, we’ve given out $74,000,” Abrahams said.
The toys and money collected are distributed with the help of ministerial alliances and Marion Chamber of Commerce. Money raised is used to buy food and help with heating expenses, Abrahams said. In its first 14 years, Marion County Toy Run has given away more than 100 bicycles.
The 15th annual Marion County Toy Run will hit the road Saturday, leaving at 1 p.m. from Eastmoor United Methodist Church in Marion. The price of admission is one new toy per vehicle, and all motorcycles and cars are invited.
After the toy run there will be a chili feed and auction at Hillsboro American Legion. The auction usually lasts until 5 or 6 p.m. and everyone is welcome. Abrahams said the auction is the largest source of money for the charity.
Noteworthy items on the auction in the past have included a pig, a puppy, and chairs made of motorcycle and car parts.
Donations come from businesses and individuals. Anyone wishing to make a donation can call Abrahams at 947-2484 or Sechler at 947-2312. Toy donations are welcome and can be dropped off at Hillsboro State Bank.
The toy run will go on, regardless of weather.
“We go, rain or shine,” Abrahams said. “We may only have 10 bikes, but we still do it.”