About 1 p.m. Sunday, more than 900 motorcycle engines revved up at the American Legion in Temple.
It was the beginning of a journey that would take the riders from Temple to Lampasas.
The more than 900 strong were participating in the 26th annual Tri-County Toy Run, an annual event to collect toys and monetary donations for children who do not have any presents to open on Christmas.
The annual event includes many motorcycle clubs and business sponsors to serve communities in Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties. This year, along with the more than 900 participants, the event collected enough toys to fill 80 boxes, according to Dawn Rothermel, charity coordinator for the event.
All of the riders came to the Cafe and Dancehall, which is at 300 U.S. Highway 281 in Lampasas. Participants were served chili, cornbread, and had coffee, tea and water.
“I coordinate with all of the different charities all year long, and I also cook the chili,” Rothermel said. “I have been involved with this event since 2005.”
Ricky Cecio is from Copperas Cove and was one of the riders who made the trek from Temple to Lampasas.
“The whole event is great, I am here primarily to help the kids, and it was a very nice ride today, with great weather,” Cecio said.
Joe McNamara is from Belton and has been participating in the event for almost 26 years.
“I have missed a few but not many,” McNamara said. “I am glad to be here for the kids.”
Mark Meyer is from Temple. This was the first ride he made for the kids.
“I am glad to participate to help the kids,” Meyer said.
Stephanie Solis and her husband came from Liberty Hill to participate in this year’s event. It was the fifth time they participated.
“You can’t put a price on seeing the smile on child face when they open a present at Christmas,” Solis said.