23rd Annual T.J. Memorial Butte County Toy Run

Dec 4, 2010 8:38 PM

Lisa Salzmann, Toy Run children's services liaison says, "These needs would absolutely go unmet without the support of everybody that you see here today." More than 400 bikers rolled into downtown Chico sporting their leather jackets, bike helmets, and toys strapped to their motorcycles. "It's the best way to start off the Christmas season," Lisa says.

The T.J. Memorial Run celebrated 23 years of successful toy raising for Butte County foster children. The biological parents of the foster children actually pick out a donated toy for their children who they're separated from and are able to give them a present. There are roughly 600 children who benefit from this drive. Lisa says, "A lot of the parents that are separated from their children don't have another way to be able to meet that need for them, so it's a great honor to be able to make sure that these families are able to do that for their children."

It all started with a man named Terry Jones, who was a foster parent himself. He brought the idea to his pastor, Dave Sweet, with the Calvary Chapel in Paradise. Together the two started the first toy drive. Pastor Dave Sweet says, "It's a blessing because it's helped so many kids." Like Sue Darrough who was the first recipient in 1987 to benefit from the Butte County Toy Run. Sue says, "It's more than amazing. It's a real gift!"


n 1995, T.J. passed away, but his legacy has been carried on through the hundreds of bikers carrying toys. Dave says, "Love is an action. It comforts, it supports, it surrounds, it yearns, and so for the degree that we can do that for these children that's the goal."


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