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Parkland Toy Run marks milestone

The 25th Annual Parkland Toy Run was held Saturday, bringing dozens of bikers through the area on a mission to deliver donations of toys and food to those in need this holiday season.

The riders met at Qdoba in Farmington for coffee and pastries, andtook the opportunity to say hello to old friends and to greet first-timers to the run.

Riders prepare to hit the road for the 25th Annual Parkland Toy Run on Saturday morning in the Farmington Qdoba parking lot.</p><p class=

See more photos at www.dailyjournalonline.com” width=”800″ /> Riders prepare to hit the road for the 25th Annual Parkland Toy Run on Saturday morning in the Farmington Qdoba parking lot.

See more photos at www.dailyjournalonline.com

Patriot Guard Senior Ride Captain Roger “Goose” Dollinger said several of the riders have participated every year and missed only one or two because of participating in funerals.

“Up until several years ago, my significant other and I kind of put all this on when it was under the direction of the Hog Chapter,” Dollinger said. “Then when the Hog Chapter of Festus (disbanded), the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association) took it over.”

Dollinger said he remembers when there would 200-300 bikes, but it has thinned out over the years with approximately 100 bikes in the run this year. He stressed there would be some kids in this county who wouldn’t have much Christmas if it wasn’t for this event.

Toys and food were collected as part of the Annual Parkland Toy Run to help needy families this holiday season.

Toys and food were collected as part of the Annual Parkland Toy Run to help needy families this holiday season.

Frank Conour, known in the area for riding his bike while dressed as Santa Claus each year, said he has been coming to the toy run for about 11 years. He learned about the event through the CMA.

When asked what keeps him returning, Conour said it’s all about the kids and families who benefit from the donations received each year.

“We start our Christmas the first of December and will play Santa throughout the month,” Conour said. “I also have my elves with me today. If anyone needs Santa Claus this year they can get in touch with me at 573-315-7153.”

The toy run is now in its 25th year. This year it took riders through Farmington, Park Hills, Desloge, Bonne Terre and ended at the VFW Post in Desloge with a chili meal.

The Parkland Toy Run provides area children with toys for Christmas presents and non-perishable food items for area food banks each holiday season.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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