Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Short ride, long return

19th annual Wood River Valley Toy Run pairs motorcycle ride with potentially unmet Christmas dreams

Express Staff Writer

Loveable biker Mike Kelly heads up another year of rounding up toys for needy kids, Saturday, Oct. 1. Express file photo

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas—Halloween goodies have been out since Labor Day!

There's also no better way to feel better about yourself than to know that you helped bring a child a gift that he or she had only dreamed of.

The 19th annual Wood River Valley Toy Run is ready to facilitate the effort and also invite anyone with a motorcycle to join in a road run that starts with charity in Ketchum, makes a toy drop in Hailey and ends with a big fat end-of-fall rally in Bellevue.

Organizer Mike Kelly is hopeful that this year will be bigger than ever, given all the hard times people have been having with the recession.

In her book "Attitudes, Beliefs and Choices," Alexandra Delis-Abrams, a local psychologist, suggests that being of service, through sharing a laugh to doing trench work for an organization in need, can help bring balance to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. And that taking time to play, and enjoying the things we did as children, or with children, can promote well-being.

So mustering $15, taking a trip to the toy store and joining your buddies old and new for a bike ride has positive benefits all around.

"You don't have to ride to participate," Kelly assures.

Cash donations to allow for the purchase of gift certificates for older children are welcomed—contact Kelly at 721-1136.

Those who plan to ride the route from Ketchum south down state Highway 75 need to show up at Grumpy's before 1 p.m. The scene has swelled to 500 bikes in the past.

Toys will be stored until December distribution.

When: Saturday, Oct. 1. Rain or shine.

Bring: One or more new toys per motorcycle, $15 minimum.

20 percent off shopping: The Toy Store at Sun Valley Village Shops or King's, 615 N. Main St., Hailey.

Meet: Noon, Grumpy's, 860 Warm Springs Rd., Ketchum.

Ride to: Wicked Spud, 305 Main St., Hailey.

Barbecue and live music: Mahoney's and The Silver Dollar, downtown Bellevue.

Sound: Hat Trick and Hanger 17.

Information: Mike Kelly at 721-1136.

Jennifer Liebrum:

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