It takes more than cold, rainy weather to dampen the Christmas spirit of local bikers, who showed up for the 19th annual Warren County Toy Ride on Saturday despite miserable conditions.
Toy Ride co-founder Jack Feingold helped lead the pack dressed as Santa with a festive windblown scarf with bells on the end. Everyone was bundled up, ready for the elements.
They began the Toy Ride at Plaza Shopping Center and traveled to Gardens of Memory Memorial Cemetery before ending at the VFW.
“Our good friend Larry Goodman was a big part of our toy drive even when he lost both legs,” said organizer Rob Wolford. “When he passed away, we decided to bring the toy drive to Goody out of respect.”
Wolford founded the Toy Ride in 1999 with the goal of ensuring all local children receive a gift-filled Christmas. This year, $20,000 was raised with the help of volunteers and numerous sponsors.
When asked what it was like participating in the ride, biker Angela Tate gave an uplifting response.
“It is always heartwarming because we are doing this for the kids of the community and it is so worth it,” said Tate. “It was very cold, I will tell you that, but it was very moving because whether you are a biker, parent, officer, it doesn’t matter because it’s all about the kids.”
According to Wolford, the organization has already spent $6,000 on new toys at Dollar General. Leftover funds will be spent on more toys from Walmart or Big Lots then boxed by the Rescue Squad on Friday night.
All items from the Warren County Toy Ride are donated to the Rescue Squad for its massive toy distribution.
Additionally, there are Toy Ride shirts still available for purchase for $20. This year, the shirts are black with a skull wearing a Santa hat along with a list of sponsors on the back. For more information, contact Rob Wolford at 931-247-0331.