Jeepers! Mike Missak ’01 excels at giving back to the community through Toys for Tots

It started off simply enough. Jeep lover Mike Missak ’01 didn’t see any Jeeps at a local car show and so started his own club, Jeeps on the Run. So many people joined that he thought they might as well accomplish something good with all those members.

A yearly parade of Jeeps was organized to travel through northern Illinois, collecting toys and funds for Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps’ charitable program. This year’s event will be held Sunday, Dec. 4. It is the 10th anniversary event and has grown tremendously. “It’s always amazing to me to see that we went from 35 jeeps to almost 1,000,” Missak says. “I love hearing how, for many families, Jeeps on the Run has become a Christmas tradition.”

The success has been grand, Missak discloses. “To date, we have donated more than $1 million in toys and donations to the community. We will fill more than two semi-trucks with toys yet again this year! We expect 2,500 participants.”

At Ripon College, Missak majored in biology and was a member of Sigma Chi. He now lives in Chicago and runs social media and digital marketing for a large powersport company as well as a few automotive dealerships. As for the Toys for Tots collection, Missak says, “We continue to host this amazing event as it’s so refreshing to see people give back and support the community. The generosity on this day is nothing short of amazing. We have become the largest donating group for Toys for Tots in northern Illinois — perhaps in other areas, too. The feeling of giving is awesome, and I want my kids to learn the importance of being involved in the community.”

Articles about Missak and his mission can be read here and here.

Isabella Cuttill
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

(Photo: Mike Missak ’01, his wife, April, and their children, Cailyn and Charlie)

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