Toy ride still rolls along

By: 
Theo Tate

Sara Meyer and Roger Martien ride along Sturgeon Street in Montgomery City during the 19th annual George Lipscomb Toy Ride. THEO TATE PHOTO

While looking around the Montgomery City Hall parking lot full of motorcycles before the start of the 19th annual George Lipscomb Memorial Toy Ride on Nov. 8, Sheila Lipscomb was ecstatic.

“This is one of the best turnouts I’ve seen in a while,” said Sheila, George’s widow.

A total of 315 motorcycles made the 22-mile trek to Eagles Hall in Hermann to help raise money for the Montgomery County Youth In Need and the Hermann Area Community Christmas. The event, which started in 2002, is named after the Montgomery City resident who passed away in 2004.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” Sheila said. “We had good turnouts. We raised a lot of money and toys for the kids in the two counties (Montgomery and Gasconade). It’s been really good.”

The event also had a 50-50 drawing, a gun raffle, T-shirts and an appearance from Santa Claus. At the end of the ride, free chili and hot dogs were provided for the riders at Eagles Hall. The entry fee was $10 per person.

Kandy Worley, one of the committee members, said she was happy that the event came back for another year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“We went ahead and moved forward all together as a committee,” Worley said. “We decided to cut out some of the things we normally had.”

Due to COVID-19, the event didn’t accept any toy donations.

“People can still give us toys if they showed up with them,” Worley said. “We’ll make sure we’ll give those to some kind of shelter or organization.”

Worley said the participants can donate money to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Hermann.

“It’s an organization that manages our money just to make sure that everything is very legitimate,” she said. “We want to make sure that everyone realizes that we’re very serious about where the money goes. All of the money, except for a tiny bit of startup money, will be split down the middle and will go to the Youth In Need or the Hermann Area Community Christmas.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol led the procession of motorcycles. It took 10 minutes for all of the motorcycles to leave the City Hall parking lot.

“We work with our area communities, the Highway Patrol and each individual police department within each area along Highway 19 to Hermann because you also have New Florence and Big Spring (along that route),” Worley said. “They block off the areas so the riders can go into one big line led by Santa Claus. Then, they’ll get down to Hermann and go to the Eagles Hall.”

George Lipscomb, who was born and raised in Wellsville, came up with the idea of having the Toy Ride to help the needy families in the community.

“My husband (Kevin) has a Harley,” Worley said. “He rode with George and they were very good friends. One day, George told Kevin, ‘Hey, we need to do something for our community. Would it be fun if we had a group?’ In the beginning, it started out as a group called Motorcycle Enthusiasts. From there, George said, ‘OK, why don’t we move forward and do something for the community on a bigger level and have this big contest.’ The very first year we did it, it was called the Motorcycle Enthusiasts.”

Lipscomb participated in the Toy Ride the first two years. In 2004, he died just two days before the event began. Sheila participated on his behalf.

“I drove his pickup and had his bike on the trailer and led (the procession),” Sheila said. “I was right behind Santa Claus in the procession with his bike. So I guess I didn’t ride that year. I drove that year.”

Sheila said the Toy Ride has grown since it began in 2002.

“The first year, I think we had 50,” she said. “But it rained, it snowed and it sleeted on us in the first year. We really had good weather almost every year.”

Kandy and Kevin Worley, JoAnn and Merlin Cramer, David and Vickie Miller and Jeff Todd make up the committee. The Worleys are from Montgomery City.

Category:

Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
PO Box 190
Montgomery City, MO 63361

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