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ABATE toy and food run to stock local charities

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Santa and his helpers will lead more than 700 motorcyclists, officials, Rescue Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, volunteers and members of at the 25th Anniversary DuKane County ABATE Toy and Food Run, set for Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.

A caravan of cars manned by representives of local area charitable organizations and social service agencies will pick up toys and food from a giant flatbed truck, to distribute to its needy clientele during the upcoming holidays.

“It’s an unbelievable spectacle,” stated ABATE President Judy Kaenel. “Volunteers will line up like car hops. (The groups) tell them what the need and the volunteers fill their car. It’s an amazingly emotional event to look at and see the generosity of those around you.

“Anybody and everyone can come, drop off food and toys, and just come out and participate,” she said. Those attending are asked to bring an unwrapped, new toy and non-perishable food item. Cost is $10 per person.

Kaenel said cleaning supplies are expensive staples that also make great donations for charities, and they have been busy asking business about setting up drop boxes in the surrounding areas.

"We compete with so many different events. Our toys and food stay in the local area,” said Kaenel.

The DuKane Toy and Food Run started in 1998 with 75 people, as a thank-you to its chapter members. It caught on to the point where the group had 5,000 bikers showing up by the early millennium (toy and food run), dropping off items, said Kaenel.

Event coordinator Wally Elliott rides with Kaenel. He describes the 25th anniversary of the toy and food run as “the granddaddy of all rides.”

Lineup will begin with a short ride at 9 a.m. following registration at the Batavia Overseas Post VFW on Route 25. Motorcycles packed with toys and food will parade to downtown Batavia and circle back to the VFW where members of ABATE will host a party to help the food bank.

There will be a band, sales of leather goods, playground tattoos, a patch lady and a t-shirt lady, and food vendors. Local shops will have door prizes.

Also featured will be a silent auction, with a women’s distressed leather jacket, a welding helmet, and toolkits among prizes.

Entertainment is sponsored by Fox River Harley Davidson featuring Stroker Red.

According to DuKane ABATE, to date, approximately 1.5 million worth of toys and food have been donated to the area’s most needy through this yearly event, which collects unwrapped new toys and non-perishable food for the DuPage/Kane County area food banks, shelters, foster homes and social service agencies.

Among this year's recipients are, Northern Illinois Food Bank and 21 other local organizations, including Willow Creek Community Church - Food Pantry; Greater Elgin Family Care Center; Lutheran Social Services of Illinois - Childrens' Community Services; Social Service Association; Family Counseling Service of Aurora - Domestic Violence Intervention Services; Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center in Elgin; Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) - Elgin; Family Shelter Service; and Patterson McDaniel Family Center.

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