ELLIS COUNTY — For 31 years spectators have lined the sides of Highway 287 from Midlothian to Ennis to watch the annual Ellis County Toy Run hosted by the Gryphons Motorcycle Club.
The tradition will continue for a 32nd year, as Toy Run will once again cruise the strip on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m. from downtown Midlothian to the Sokol Hall in Ennis.
To participate riders are asked to bring donations of a new, unwrapped toy, canned goods and $5 per person.
According to a press release, “The Ellis County Toy Run benefits many organizations throughout Ellis County. The families that receive toys at the Sokol Hall are by invitation only and are selected by the Ellis County Human Resources based on need. All of the additional toys are given to local Head Start organizations, churches, police and EMS organizations. [...] The collected can goods are distributed to local food banks. The money collected always goes to local senior citizens centers alternating between Midlothian, Ennis and Waxahachie for two consecutive years at each location. This year's recipient is the Waxahachie Senior Citizens Center.”
Last year the toy run attracted over 500 riders who totaled $12,000 in monetary donations that benefitted the Ennis Golden Circle Senior Citizens Center.
Also mentioned in the press release, on the morning of the event, riders will gather in downtown where they "can enjoy coffee and donuts provided by local businesses. The parade will leave downtown at 11 a.m. sharp. Upon the arrival of the Sokol Hall in Ennis, you can enjoy hot dogs and soft drinks while they last [...] After the invited children have selected their toys and have gone home, a live band, The Haze, will perform beginning around 1:00 p.m.”
At the Sokol Hall door prizes, raffle prizes and an auction will conclude the day’s festivities.
Traveling from Fort Worth to Midlothian each year since the toy run’s second year is Andy Havner who previously told the WDL, “This is my favorite by far. What's heartwarming to me is when you walk into Sokol Hall and the kids are there and they say 'Hi, Mr. Biker,' and you can actually see your toys being given away.”
Businesses and organizations partnering with the Gryphon Motorcycle Club to make this event possible include: Midlothian, Ennis and Waxahachie Police Departments, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, Gerdau TXI, Bikers Against Child Abuse [B.A.C.A.], Guardians of the Children Motorcycle Club, Wolverine’s Motorcycle Club, Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Club, the Citizens National Bank of Texas and many more.
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL