After 20 years, the Warren County Toy Ride has a new name. It’s been renamed for founding member Ron Hillis who passed away earlier this month.
What is now the Ron Hillis Toy Run will take place Saturday, Dec. 11, and leave Plaza Shopping Center at 1 p.m.
“Ron was with us from Day 1 and he really meant a lot to us and to the Toy Ride,” said organizer Rob Wolford. “Ron was such a big part of what we do, we want to keep his memory alive and that’s why we’ve gone with a new name, the Ron Hillis Toy Run.”
The name may have changed but the goal remains the same – to provide toys for children at Christmas.
“Anyone who has ever wanted to make Christmas better for a kid is welcome to come out and ride with us,” said Wolford. “We always stress you don’t have to be on a motorcycle to participate. You can be in a pickup, a classic car, or even your family car. We don’t really care.”
The Toy Ride got its start in 1999 and has been held each year since then with the exception of last year due to the pandemic.
In continuing their usual mode of operation, organizers will be visiting area businesses in the coming weeks in hopes of gaining sponsorship donations to help purchase toys. Wolford says business donations represent a large percentage of their annual total.
Organizers will also be setting up outside Big Lots and Walmart on one upcoming Saturday. Wolford says those locations are prime spots for fundraising.
“Every dime we raise will go toward buying toys for kids,” said Wolford. “Schools are welcome to participate too. We’re doing something with Eastside School for the classroom which brings in the most toys. We’ll reward that classroom with a pizza party.”
Wolford says the Toy Run will be working in conjunction with the Central Baptist Association to distribute the toys. The Central Baptist Association is taking over the Christmas Toy Drive from the Rescue Squad this year.
For more information or to make a donation, call Rob Wolford at (931) 247-0331.