Santa is trading his sleigh for a motorcycle this weekend, in south-central Kansas’ first toy run of the year, set for Saturday in El Dorado.
The 20th annual Butler County Toy Run kicks off a series of events sponsored in part this fall by ABATE – A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments – District 8.
Lineup starts at 10 a.m. at the 4-H Building, 206 N. Griffith in El Dorado. The parade leaves at 11.
Participants are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy.
“It’s one of my highlights of the year because I’ve known people who have benefitted from it,” said Charles “Mick” Jimenez, ABATE’s Butler County representative. The statewide group promotes motorcycle legislation and safety. District 8 serves 11 south-central Kansas counties, including Sedgwick County.
The parade will be escorted by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office – and Santa – along a 73-mile course. ABATE is encouraging people to support riders as they pass through Augusta at 11:25 a.m.; Douglass at 11:40 a.m., Rose Hill at 12:40 p.m., Andover at 1 p.m. and Benton at 1:20 p.m.
The run will end in El Dorado around 1:45 p.m. Lunch – which costs $4 – an auction and prize drawings follow at the 4-H building.
Proceeds benefit the Salvation Army of Butler County’s Angel Tree program, which serves about 600 families at Christmastime.
Salvation Army Capt. Katie Pinkston said she looks forward to a successful fundraiser after the last year’s donations of $5,200, more than 300 toys and 200 pounds of food.
“We’ve been able to provide an extra toy … per child,” she said, noting items for teens and infants are in high demand. This year, nonperishable foods and cash donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Walmart, 301 S. Village Road in El Dorado.
“We’re really excited that we get the privilege to not only increase the number of toys … but to get enough food to fill 15 to 20 baskets to give out to the families,” she said.
For more information, contact Jimenez at 316-320-0333 or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail email@example.com for details on Butler County’s Angel Tree program.