NEWS HEADLINES

Running strong: Thousands attend annual Wise County Toy Run

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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Here Comes Santa Claus

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS – Windell and Jennifer Freeman of Fort Worth show off their holiday spirit as they lead Sunday’s Wise County Toy Run from Decatur to Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Under sunny skies and unseasonably warm weather, participants of the Wise County Toy Run filled the roadways between Bridgeport and Decatur Sunday.

While organizers don’t have an official number of participants, they estimate between 1,600 and 1,800 bikes with perhaps 2,500 total people taking part in the annual event.

“I don’t know if it is the largest, but it was definitely one of the largest,” organizer Jeff Honeycutt said.

The parking lot at McCarroll Middle School in Decatur where the bikes traditionally gather to begin the run filled up by 11 a.m., Honeycutt said, and people showing up after 11 were directed to an overflow parking lot. When that parking lot filled up, bikes were sent to a second overflow parking lot. That might be the first time in the event’s history that has happened.

Honeycutt said they also ran out of 50/50 raffle tickets before they left Decatur, which was another first. The winner received more than $1,000.

More than 60 gallons of chili were served at lunch at the end of the ride in Bridgeport.

But most importantly, lots of toys were collected that will soon find their way under the Christmas trees for children of local families in need.

Honeycutt said Toy Run organizers have worked all year to ensure participants were reminded that the event is for the children.

“This is about the kids and a family atmosphere; it’s not about the clubs and all that mess,” he said.

The message was apparently received, with no reports of any incidents between clubs.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford reported only one Toy Run-related incident that involved someone who was not on a motorcycle. He said that Kim Heon, 53, was crossing the road in the 900 block of Hovey Street to attend the Toy Run when she was struck by a motor vehicle driven by Bob Kenyon of Bridgeport.

Heon received minor injuries and refused transport by ambulance, Stanford said.

Donations to the Wise County Toy Run can still be made. Monetary donations may be mailed to Wise County Toy Run, P.O. Box 891, Bridgeport, TX 76426. Toys will be delivered to families later this month.

Decorated

DECORATED – Many of the motorcycles in the Toy Run were decorated for the Christmas season. Messenger photo by Lisa Castro

Grin and Bear It 1

GRIN AND BEAR IT – The annual event collects toys for area children. A participant rides into Bridgeport with a giant teddy bear. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Grin and Bear It 2

Todd and Rose Coker of Springtown show off their festive holiday colors. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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