CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — This year’s annual Gaston County Toys for Tots event will be held Sunday, November 28th. The ride will kick off at the Erwin Community Center located at 913 N. Pryor Street and end at the Eastridge Mall parking lot. For 35 years, area bikers have joined to gather and donate unwrapped toys to local children in need. The Salvation Army and Gaston County Social Services partner for the event to distribute toys to those in need.
Gerald Tate, the event’s coordinator, expressed just how much this event has come to mean to the local biker community. “To the bikers, this is something we take great pride in. We come out in droves!”
The Toys for Tots run is the oldest south of the Catawba River. A police escort will be there for the participants’ safety. Refreshments will be available after the run for a ten-dollar donation.
The Salvation Army’s Tom Sherrill also weighs in on the impact these donations have on the children who receive these gifts. “There are so many children who would otherwise have a dismal Christmas were it not for the Toys for Tots ride.” He continued, “When you see hundreds of motorcycles roll in, and all those toys accumulating…it is such a heartwarming moment.”
The Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride has long been a major source of gift donations for the Salvation Army serving Gaston and Lincoln counties with hundreds of bikers participating.
The Toys for Tots event is held every year on the last Sunday in November after Thanksgiving. A dance will be held on the 27th, the night before the run in a location to be announced. Bikers are asked to be gassed up and ready to roll early. Weapons and animals are not allowed at the event.