Motorcyclists gather for a cause

Toys for kids

Bobby Pruette prepares his grandson, Lucas Reeves, 8, for the Toys for Kids motorcycle run.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 06:38 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Families First has $3,000 and some 250 toys that can make needy Hub City children’s Christmases more cheerful after the 14th annual Run for the Toys.

More than 200 bikers rode into the Crestview Walmart parking lot just before 9:30 a.m., paid a $10 registration fee, and included at least one toy to donate toward Families First, a foster care network.

A couple of Crestview Police Department units escorted the long trail of bikers to their location at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5450 building on James Lee Boulevard. The VFW provided lunch for the bikers, who participated in raffles with proceeds benefiting the purchase of more toys.

Carrie Lawson, of Families First Network, said the event collected some $3,000 that will help purchase more toys.

“We honestly couldn’t do this without the support of local businesses,” event organizer Ken Payne said, referring to donated gift certificates, gift cards and other raffle items that netted considerable amounts.

The charitable event also aimed to remove a perceived stigma from bikers, Ken Henniger, a former event organizer and participant, said.

“Bikers participate in more charitable runs than anything,” he said. “They should actually be looked up to, not down at.”

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