Christmas is a few seasons away, but bikers are looking forward to revving their engines later this month to make children smile during the holiday season.
The Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, 4442 Bonnetsville Road, Clinton. It is being hosted by the Rose Hill chapter of the Pure Platinum Motorcycle Club.
Motorcyclists from all over are invited to participate in the event. Volunteer Jenette Melo is looking forward to the ride, which will raise money for the Toys for Tots, a program operated by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Its mission is to provide new toys to less fortunate children.
“At Christmas time, you see the drop boxes where you can just buy a toy and drop it in,” Melo said. “I’m always doing that. I love the idea of that because I know there’s children who don’t get anything at all for Christmas.”
Registration for the event in Clinton starts at 9 a.m. Kickstands will go up at 10 a.m. as bikers prepare to leave the lot for a route around the area. The cost for one rider is $20 and $10 for an extra rider. A barbecue meal will be served during the event. Proceeds will go toward purchases such as bikes and other gifts to distribute through the Toys for Tots program. Melo applauded the efforts of the bike club and the volunteers.
“They want kids to have a really nice Christmas,” Melo said.
Vendors are welcome to participate in the event. The cost for one table is $35 and $40 if two representatives are present.
Toys for Tots started in 1947 when the late Major Bill Hendricks and a group of Marines Reservists distributed more than 5,000 toys to needy children in Los Angeles. The idea was suggested by his wife, Diane Hendricks. Since then, more than 540 million toys have been donated to 251 million less fortunate children.
Along with the bike ride, Sampson County participants are preparing for the “Gospel Concert in the Park” in August. Additional information will be released soon. Another mission of local volunteers is to collect books to distribute for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, which provides reading material to economically disadvantaged children.
For more information about the event, contact Melo at 910-305-4866; Carmen Jones at 910-224-0082; or Patricia Sutton at 910-305-5036.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.