“Rush County Bikers Toys for Tots” organizers Tim, Audie and Delbert Frazier made a difficult decision recently, to cease their efforts following this year’s Christmas toy distribution.
The local organization began 20 years ago as the brainchild of Mark Bowling, Donnie Frazier and Kim Bo Smith as a means to provide a brighter holiday season for Rush County children in need.
“The first year I think that maybe 20 to 30 children were helped by the Rush County Bikers Toys for Tots. Last year, we had 175 youngsters,” current board treasurer Tim Frazier said earlier this year.
Early counts have roughly 150 to 175 children receiving gifts from the organization this year.
Throughout the years a number of local businesses and individuals have been a mainstay for the effort and this year is no exception, according to the Fraziers.
The trio singled out Long Lasting Designs, Curtis Brothers, Trane employees, the American Legion, Rushville Elks, Tony Stewart Racing, RCHS faculty, Walmart and the city of Rushville as being instrumental in the effort to make the holiday season a little brighter for area youth whose families otherwise might not have been in a position to have a Christmas.
The aforementioned Frazier brothers, along with Jeff Leonard, Mike Tillison, Vickie Frazier and Rebecca King, cited a number of reasons for the difficult decision to call it quits after this year.
According to the Fraziers, economic times have resulted in reduced funding and the sheer number of local children in need has grown substantially in recent years.
One unique aspect of this local effort, according to organizers, is that since its inception the presents are all wrapped and hand-delivered.
“We don’t just mail the packages. We still have Santa deliver presents to residences on Christmas Eve. We start in town and then work our way out to the county residences,” Tim Frazier said.
The organizers said they will miss the look on the children’s faces as the packages are delivered.
“Something I will always carry with me and remember the rest of my life is the look of gratitude on the kids’ faces, We basically look for those families that will have next to nothing or very little under their Christmas trees,” Tim Frazier said.
The current organizers hope someone or some group will step forward and continue the tradition locally.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106