The annual Camp Verde Marshal's Office Christmas Toy Ride was the brainchild of the late Debbie Owsley.
Each year during their off time, deputies distribute brand new toys that the marshal's office staff has purchased from proceeds raised through various Toy Ride activities. Money comes from the actual horseback ride, the follow-up dinner-dance, raffle ticket sales, and outright monetary donations.
This year's ride has a special meaning as it will be dedicated in honor of the late Debbie Owsley. Owsley, wife to Sgt. Roscoe Owsley, and the owner of the Movie Shack, was responsible for starting this annual holiday event several years ago. Debbie died unexpectedly on Dec. 18, 2003, following surgery.
Sgt. Owsley explained how it all started:
"We were dating and sitting on my tailgate. She had heard something about a motorcycle toy ride on the radio and suggested we do something similar, a horseback toy ride. The next day, she went to Marshal Chuck Devine's office and asked the Camp Verde Marshal's Office to sponsor it. He agreed."
This year's coordinator, Teri Moore, thinks Debbie Owsley would be pleased.
"Debbie used to do everything -- cooked the meals, solicited the funds. She touched a lot of lives. She was a real sweetheart," Moore said.