Christmas came early Saturday at the Laura Miller George Help Center, thanks to the Freedom of Road Riders.
The motorcycle group held their annual Betty Adams Toy Drive, collecting toys for the Help Center to distribute to boys and girls at Christmas.
The group has been sponsoring the event for 32 years.
The drive was the brainstorm of Betty Adams, who was a member of the Freedom of Road Riders. "She died in a car wreck before the first drive was held," said Kim Archer, events coordinator. Since it was her idea, the group decided to name the event in memory of Adams. Archer said other chapters now have a toy drive.
To raise money the group has two fundraisers, a dance in October and a Wonder Run in August, the Wonder Run started the same year as the toy drive. They also receive money and toy donations from the public.
"We spent $1,100 last night (Friday night) at Walmart on toys," Archer stated Saturday morning. The manager and assistant manager of Dollar General on South Clark had collected $400 in toys and asked the Freedom of Road Riders to deliver them to the Help Center for them.
"We also brought in $300 today (Saturday)," Archer said.
The group had a parade from the Missouri Veterans' Home around the Village Square and then to the Help Center. The toys were delivered on a flatbed trailer. Once they were at the Help Center, the group formed a line, placing the toys in boxes. The boxes were then taken by a forklift into the building where they will be sorted out by volunteers.
Now that the toys (and some food items) have been delivered to the Help Center, it is time to begin on next year's drive. "We already have $60 for next year," Archer said.