Saddleback to collect toys

Holiday drive gathers gifts for Denver Children's hospital

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If you go

What: Third annual Cowboy Christmas holiday event, including tubing, sleigh rides and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Saddleback Ranch, 37350 Routt County Road 179 east of Milner

Cause: Donated toys will be accepted for Denver Children's hospital on behalf of Mickey's Fund

Cost: Free

— Prudential Steamboat Realty is collecting toys again this year to take to the Denver Children's hospital on behalf of Moose Barrow's annual effort, Mickey's Fund. The holiday toy drive collects more than 3,000 toys every year for children and families who will be spending their holiday season in the hospital.

Barrows began the fund in memory of his son, Mickey, who spent three years at the hospital with a heart condition. After Mickey's death at age 3, Barrows received money from sympathetic friends and family. He put the money into the Mickey Barrows Memorial Trust and used it to purchase Christmas toys for children at the hospital. The fund continued to grow after the death of Barrows' father, Ray Barrows, who asked that all memorial donations go to the trust.

Mickey's Fund is now organized by Snowpile, a program coordinated each year by the hospital's Therapeutic Recreation Department. Thousands of toys still make their way from the Yampa Valley to Denver every winter. The local collection point is the Prudential Steamboat Realty office in Wildhorse Marketplace.

Again this year, Saddleback Ranch will be offering its community holiday event, the Cowboy Christmas, to encourage toy donations. This complimentary event provides locals and visitors alike with the opportunity to have a day out at the guest ranch enjoying tubing, sleigh rides and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The third annual Cowboy Christmas is from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Saddleback Ranch, where toys will be collected.

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