1,700 toys donated for children in need during King's Place annual toy drive

- With the help of generous residents, burger joint King's Place in Miesville is setting another record to help make children's dreams come true.

In a town of 125, King’s Place is Miesville’s icon with 103 kinds of burgers served daily. But once a year, the focus shifts from patties to presents for children in need during the holidays.

“When you’re so fortunate that you get so much and you know there’s people out there that don’t - that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Tammy Clemens, one of the organizers of the drive.

Already bagged up in King’s back dining room are half of the toys collected in their annual drive, which will go to Goodhue County Toys 4 Tots.

“There’s everything, there’s trucks, there’s stuffed animals,” said Clemens.

Hastings Family Services already picked up the other half of presents. It’s a huge haul and a far cry from their first drive 12 years ago, which they thought was pretty good at the time.

“Our first year was 118 or 119 toys,” said Terri Lawrence, the owner of King’s Place. 

“It was a joke because we actually got more toys than the population of the town,” said Clemens.

The drive began after Terri had gone to Russia to adopt her daughter. She was so moved by seeing kids with so little, she was compelled to help kids at home in similar situations.

“So she came back and she said, ‘Tammy’ - on the phone right away – said, ‘You’ve got to do this, we’ve got to put it together this year,’ it was just like a panic,” said Clemens.

The first Tuesday of December, they keep the tradition alive and continue to top themselves. This year, the donation drive brought in 1,700 toys and $7,500.

“Will we do it next year? We’re planning on it!  As long as her and I are still going - until we get in our walkers!” said Clemens.

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