CLEARFIELD – The Jolly Old Elf himself isn’t letting high temperatures and sunny days fool him … and neither are a group of people in Clearfield County who are looking to bring a little holiday cheer to some young hospital patients.
The event is the Christmas in July Dice Run, and it will benefit Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh through the collection of new, unused toys for the July 28 event.
The idea for the run was the work of the Sons of the American Legion, Clearfield, and the Clearfield Cycle Club who work together on various other charity events including the Christmas Eve dinners they prepare and deliver to those who can’t get out. The event was previously hed in October, but Mother Nature got in the way, so it was changed to July in hope for a better turnout.
This year will mark the fourth for the run, and Joni Derrick, one of the event organizers, said it gets biggger and better each year.
“We would like everyone to know that you don’t have to have a motorcycle or belong to either group (Sons or cycle club) to participate,” she said.
Registration is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Clearfield American Legion at 210 S. Second St. on July 28. The entry fee is either a toy or a $10 donation. Stops include Over the Mountain in Rockton, the Curwensville American Legion, R-Bar in Hyde and the Clearfield American Legion. Color TVs will be given to the high and low rollers along with other door prizes. If you cannot participate but want to help with the cause, new, unwrapped toys can be donated as can money that will be used to purchase toys. They can be dropped off or sent to Sons of the American Legion, 210 S. Second St., Clearfield, PA 16830. Checks should be made payable to the SAL/Toy Run. Call 761-0298 or 236-0799 for more information.
“There is no minimum to spend, if someone wants to knit a cap, that’s great, little bald heads get cold! Items can range from infants through teenage years,” Derrick said, noting that items need not necessarily be toys. “There are many things the kids like. For babies, crib mobiles, onesies, bibs, rattles light and musical toys; School age, pretend food & dishes, coloring books, crosswords, lap desks that provide a writing surface when in bed; Teen; $5-$10 calling cards, fast food gift certificates, scrapbooks, disposable cameras, I spy books, journals, stationary.”
A wish list is available for anyone who would like a copy by calling Derrick at 236-0779.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer at some point in their lives, and these kids are confined to hospital rooms and are missing out on the simple joys that every one else takes for granted every day.
“Overnight hospital stays are routine for kids with cancer, the child doesn’t get cancer the entire family does. Anything that will take their minds off of it for 10 minutes is worth it you don’t have to spend a lot of money to bring a smile to a kids face.”
For Derrick, the ride means something special.
“My daughter spent three months at CHP undergoing surgeries, chemo and radiation therapy. After being discharged we still traveled weekly with a two-day stay every other week. The first thing Shelby wanted to do when she was admitted was to go to the play/activity room to pick out a craft or activity.
“Having access to a wide variety of items helped take her mind off of enduring the treatments that she was there to receive. She is in clinical remission and looks forward to helping deliver the items. Even when she goes back to the clinic for her regular checkups, there is always a box of items the kids can pick stuff out of.”
Items donated will be distributed to all floors of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh by the Child Life Department at the hospital. All donated items should be new and unwrapped. Everything donated is greatly appreciated.