The Annual Gryphon Motorcycle Club Ellis County Toy Run rolls out of Midlothian Sunday morning for its annual ride to Sokol Hall in Ennis with all the money raised this year going to the Midlothian Senior Citizens Center.

“This is a longstanding tradition for Midlothian and people from across the state look forward to every Christmas,” said Doug Clark, a Gryphon and event coordinator. “We hope to have more than 3,000 bikes this year.”

But Clark said the run isn’t about motorcycles, it’s about supporting local charities in Midlothian, Waxahachie and Ennis. It’s also about providing a Christmas for many needy children.

“This thing began 22 years ago and we never thought it would grow this big,” said Clark. “I got a letter last year from a young man who said the only Christmas he got one year came from our toy run. He enclosed a donation and said he would never forget what we did for his family.”

Participants will begin gathering in downtown Midlothian at around 9 a.m., with coffee and doughnuts provided by Midlothian Donuts and Caroline’s Caf/ and the space and electricity provided by Dee Tee’s, all longtime sponsors of the toy run.

The Blessing of the Bikes is at 10:45 a.m., with motors kicked over at the end of the prayer.

The parade will leave Midlothian at 11 a.m., with participants traveling U.S. Highway 287 through downtown Ennis to U.S. Highway 34 and on to Sokol Activity Center.

At the Sokol, participants will enjoy hot dogs and refreshments.

The toy giveaway at the Sokol is by invitation only, with toys given to families selected by Ellis County Human Resources. All of the additional toys are given to local Head Start programs,churches, police, fire and ambulance organizations. After the children have selected their toys and gone home, a live band, Soul Doubt, will perform beginning at about 1 p.m.

All bikes and all people are invited to attend.

To participate, bring a new unwrapped toy for children between the ages of 3 and 13 years old and $5 per person. Canned goods are also accepted for the food banks.

The collected canned goods are distributed to local food banks, and the money that is collected goes to a local senior citizens’ center, alternating between Midlothian, Waxahachie and Ennis, for two years in a row to each location.

For more information or to make a donation, call Gryphon Motorcycle club members Doug Clark at 972-723-3157; Erick Floyd at 469-766-6093 or Leigh Floyd at 972-775-4230.