Make us your home page
Instagram

Cookson Hills Toy Run continues in wake of co-founder's death

Seffner residents Sheri and Bill Brown founded the Cookson Hills Toy Run in 1993. After Bill Brown died Nov. 14, Jason Sorrow took over the event.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times (2013)

Seffner residents Sheri and Bill Brown founded the Cookson Hills Toy Run in 1993. After Bill Brown died Nov. 14, Jason Sorrow took over the event.

After 21 years of providing children, veterans and special-needs residents with Christmas memories, the Cookson Hills Toy Run is changing hands.

This year's event, founded by Seffner residents Bill and Sheri Brown, is being organized by Jason Sorrow, owner of Adrenaline Ink Tattoos in Brandon.

Sorrow, who rides motorcycles with a group of about 1,000 people, said after three years of attending the event, he wanted to keep it going, especially since Bill Brown died Nov. 14 after battling bladder and kidney cancer. The toy drive will start at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Brandon Harley-Davidson, and the ride will end from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa.

"The big difference is actual resources," said Sorrow, who hopes to help 400 children this year. "We have a board and three times the contacts and supporters. It's shaping up to be a good year."

The toy run started modestly in 1993 but grew into an event that attracted more than 2,000 motorcycle riders who bestowed Christmas gifts upon "forgotten" children (newborns to 18-year-olds still in high school) mostly from the Riverview, Gibsonton and Thonotosassa areas. The Browns' gift giving also reached individuals with special needs, seniors and veterans.

Sheri Brown said she and her husband invested $47,000 of their own money over the years to keep the event going.

"Every penny was worth it because of the memories we saw," she said. "For 21 years, we provided merry Christmas memories, and that legacy is changing. It's not going to be the same. I'm going to miss doing it."

Scooter's Saloon will offer a brunch buffet with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the toy run. Raffle tickets will be available to win an AR-15 rifle, $500 cash and $200 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets and more. Also on tap are sleigh rides, face painting, a silent auction and a DJ.

Sorrow invites people interested in helping to bring wrapped presents either to the morning or afternoon events, noting the age and gender of the gift recipient. Visit facebook.com/ cooksonhillstoyrun2015/ to find out more.

Contact Eric Vician at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Cookson Hills Toy Run continues in wake of co-founder's death 12/01/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  2. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.