Ollie Ortiz

Ollie’s Toy Box fundraiser is in the memory of Ollie Ortiz. 

‘Ollie’s Toy Box’ getting full

STU BUTCHER

Although he never got to see it, Ollie’s Toy Box is overflowing.

Ollie’s Toy Box was started by Oliver Ortiz’s family during the holidays after his passing in September of 2016. 

A daycare worker in Eudora has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in the nine-month-old’s death.

Ryan Ortiz of Chanute and his wife, Kaila, have been fundraising for the cause in honor of Ollie, the son of Ryan’s brother and sister-in-law Rob and Kaylen Ortiz, Eudora. Ollie’s grandparents are Robert and Jamie Ortiz, Chanute.

Ortiz said he was never able to make his nephew the toy box that he wanted to build and that led to the name of the fundraising cause. As a tribute to the boy’s memory, the Ortiz family last Christmas provided three totes (toy boxes) full of clothes, formula, diapers, toys and other essentials to a Eudora family.

“This is how Ollie’s Toy Box was started,” Ortiz said.

On Oct. 21 Ortiz will be running a marathon in Kansas City. His goal is to raise $2,600, or 100 people to donate $26, $1 per mile.

Ryan said he ran a marathon five years ago and is in the middle of 16 weeks of training for the Kansas City event.

“The support has been unreal,” Ryan said. “It’s taken us all by surprise. It shows how great the people are that we have around here.”

He noted that along with Chanute, they’ve received support from his wife’s hometown of Pratt as well as people from Eudora and Lawrence.

“So many have donated already. This is all for a kid they were not really associated with.”

To include those in Chanute who have been supportive and may not be able to attend the Kansas City run, Ortiz has organized a 5K and one mile walk/kids run Sept. 23 at Santa Fe Park.

Ortiz calls it a Fun Run. There is no entry fee.

Included will be a Chinese Auction. Raffle tickets may be purchased for any donated prize. Tickets for $1, no limit, may be entered for any particular prize.

They are also planning on having a cookout and possibly other activities post run.

Donations online may be made at https://www.donationto.com/Ryans-Run-for-Ollie

Checks made to Ryan or Kaila Ortiz with Ryan’s Run for Ollie as a memo may be sent to 1217 W. 14th St. Chanute, KS 66720.

At the marathon in Kansas City, Ortiz plans a “big check” presentation that will show the total amount raised.

He said so far the support has “blown up and is overwhelming.”

“We just want to do more stuff for more families and donate to more people.”

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