By Colleen Flaherty
Killeen Daily Herald
The 18th annual Tri-County Toy Run takes place Sunday.
An estimated 800 to 1,000 toy-toting motorcyclists will meet at the American Legion Post 133 in Temple for breakfast before tossing up their kickstands at high noon and riding westward in honor of underprivileged Children in Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties.
The event collects toys for 23 charities that do not receive government funding, said committee chairwoman Lydia Cody of Copperas Cove.
"The kids won't be without on Christmas Day," she said. "It's an experience if nobody's ever been on one of these rides. It's really a neat thing."
Several different biker groups and individual riders are set to participate. Even non-bikers can contribute by dropping off a toy or donating money, she said.
There is no minimum donation to ride, said committee member Jeff Duncan of Killeen. "We don't want people limited by money. This is a very good cause."
The Tri-County Toy Run is one of the safest there is, the veteran rider and martial arts instructor said.
"We cooperate with a couple of police departments," Duncan said. "We don't just get out on the bike and take off and go. We've been doing this for 18 years now as a committee."
There were no accidents last year, he said.
Unlike previous rides, Duncan said, this year's will end at the Copperas Cove and Lampasas border at Ogletree Gap.
Various fire departments will greet riders with chili and representatives of the ride's target charities will collect their toys, transported from Temple in a donated tractor trailer.
Despite cold temperatures and early rain, last year's ride reaped an estimated $24,000 worth of toys for 5,327 kids, Duncan said, and the need is even greater this year.
Registration and breakfast begin at 9 a.m. Sunday at the American Legion Post 133, 1304 S. 25th St. in Temple. The ride will begin at noon, following an opening ceremony.
For more information on the Tri-County Toy Run, call Duncan at (254) 466-8980 or go to tricountytoyrun.org.
Contact Colleen Flaherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.