"For the Kids" Toy Run

By: Dwayne Wilder

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For the Kids
 
For the seventeenth time, motorcycle enthusiasts and a few antique car collectors will brave the weather and ride around Sherman and Denison ‘For the Kids.’
 
“We don’t change much year to year,” said Stan Masson, one of the organizers. “We do what we can for the kids.”
 
The toy run with a theme of ‘Big Kids helping Little Kids’ is set for Dec. 4 at Red River Autoplex 2020 US 75 North in Denison. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the run begins at 1 p.m.
 
According to Masson, the entry fee is one new unwrapped toy and two can goods or a minimum $10 donation. All proceeds go to the Grayson County Salvation Army and local charitable organizations. In addition, there will be a barbecue dinner at the Sherman Elks Lodge following the run for $7 per person.
 
According to Major Don Wildish, of the Salvation Army, the need is ‘great’ in 2011 for Texoma families and children. There are more than 800 families – an increase of 120 from 2010 – which need help at Christmastime, he noted.
 
Wildish also noted there will be some 2,500 children involved, which is 500 more than last year. The local Salvation Army’s nursing home gifts are also 200 higher at more than 4,000 in 2011.
 
“Thank you for caring,” said Wildish. “Our goal is to see that needy children receive a gift Christmas morning; and with your help we can do that.”
 
The group will do the same route they have been using for the last several years. This year, with the Denison Viaduct reconstruction, there was some concern due to TxDOT’s requirements and work on the overpass structure.
 
“We can do the same route this year,” said Masson. “We will have enough room based on what they will be doing that week.”
 
The 25 mile route will begin at the Red River Autoplex in Denison on US 75 at 1 p.m. with riders going east on FM 84 to US 69 and turning south. The route will take them
over the viaduct to Spur 503 where they will loop around to Texoma Parkway. Riders will go south to US 82 where they will turn east to Spur 1417 and go south to SH 56.
 
The route will follow turn right (west) SH 56 to SH 11; turn south and follow SH 11 to FM 1417. Finally, riders will turn west and make their way to the Sherman Elks Lodge about 1 mile.
 
“For the Kids” was started in 1995 by four local businessmen. That first toy run included 131 motorcycles, 29 vehicles and four postal trucks full of gifts/food. The group raised $2,300 was well. In the ensuing 16 years, the group has raised more than $255,000 for local children and families in addition to the gifts/food.
 
“We want every child in Grayson County to have a very happy holiday season,” said Masson. “And Merry Christmas for all of us ‘Big Kids’.”
 
At the rally, in addition, a raffle for two big screen televisions will be held. Tickets are $10 each or three for $25. T-shirts, patches and pins will also be available, Masson said.
 
For more information, contact Masson at (903) 813-1311.


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