SWEETWATER COUNTY – With red and blues flashing and the roar of motorcycle engines shaking the earth, the annual Toys for Kids drive officially kicked off Sunday.
The Rock Springs Fire and Police Departments, Green River Fire and Police Departments, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol and other emergency response organizations were joined by members of various motorcycle organizations to get it started. After meeting in Green River, they made the annual run from Green River to Rock Springs Sunday.
Started over 50 years ago by firefighters of Rock Springs, the drive has been a staple in Sweetwater County. The tradition even went through a name change. Originally named Toys for Tots, the event’s name was changed to Toys for Kids to keep it separate from the national drive done by the United States Marines.
It was 25 years ago that local biker groups and the roar of engines joined the fun. Dennis Laughlin of Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson made mention of this and probably summed it up best at the Rock Springs Fire Department.
“Every toy you brought here today is a happy local child,” he said thanking the many groups while also explaining all the giving stays here at home.
How to Get Involved
Sunday marked the start of giving and the Rock Springs Fire Department will be accepting toy donations until December 18 at 7 p.m. New, or like new, toy donations may be dropped off at the Rock Springs Fire Department Headquarters at 600 College Drive or at the Rock Springs Library located at 400 C St.
Anyone who needs assistance in ensuring that their children get a Christmas gift is eligible to participate. In order to equally distribute the toys, you must sign up for the giveaway and schedule an appointment for the day of the giveaway.
Opportunities to sign-up for the giveaway will be at the Food Bank of Sweetwater County, 90 Center Street in Rock Springs, on Tuesday, November 24 and Thursday, December 10. The hours for the sign-up will be 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each date.
The toy give away will be at the Rock Springs Fire Station Headquarters, 600 College Drive, on Saturday December 19. Please remember that an appointment is needed. Further information may be obtained by calling the Rock Springs Fire Department at 352-1475.