The holiday spirit roared through Nacogdoches Saturday on motorcycles, as the fourth annual Texas Thunder Toy Run got underway. Robert Dooley, the Toy Run organizer said, "The people that are riding the bikes are donating the toys and paying $5.00 to do this Toy Run and help the needy kids with the toys. And the money, like I say, will go to the Senior Citizen's Complex, and some to the Women's Shelter in Nacogdoches."
Everyone agrees that it's good to see so much support for the event, especially after last year's tragic incident. Dooley said, "Last year we had a fatality. [It's the] nature of the beast."
Just seven minutes into their ride last year, 38-year-old Kimberly McEntire was thrown from the passenger's seat of her husband's motorcycle. This year's organizers say, while they remember the tragedy, they're also trying to remember the people they're helping this year.
Dooley said, "We're just gonna, you know, have a good Toy Run, [a] good safe Toy Run. Put the past in the past."
Bikers we spoke with seemed to agree, and focus on the children they're helping. Johnny Gammage, a bike rider said, "[We're doing this] for the children that don't have the -- I guess you'd say -- the privilege to have toys and stuff during Christmas. We're doing this to help all the children that are needy here in Nacogdoches."
With so many bikers donating so much time and money, there's no doubt that many children in Nacogdoches will be able to have a brighter Christmas than they might have had without the help of these kings of the road.