October 5, 2006 issue

Get in the Holiday Spirit Early with the Watauga Toy Run October 21

Story by David Brewer

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! It’s time for the Second Annual Watauga County Toy Run sponsored by the Watauga County Chapter of the American Red Cross and supported by the Boone Police Department and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

Organized by members of a local group of motorcycle riders known as The Peacemakers who belong to the Christian Motorcyclist Association, the Watauga County Toy Run collects toys, scarves, hats, toiletries and other items and distributes them among less fortunate residents in the area.

Taking place on Saturday, October 21, riders will rendezvous in the Boone Mall parking lot and keep their fingers crossed for good weather before dispersing throughout the county to spread gifts and some early holiday cheer. Registration will last from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the ride beginning at 1:00 p.m.

The entry fee for the Toy Run requires participants to donate one new (unwrapped) toy worth at least $10 or to make a $10 donation. With luck, the amount of items donated will be enough to provide for needy residents not only in Watauga, but also in adjoining counties.

The ride will be 32-miles long and will be escorted by members of the Boone Police Department and Watauga Sheriff’s Office. Prior to the ride, participants will be eligible for several door prizes donated by local businesses. Those who would like volunteer or donate money or door prizes are still encouraged to get involved.

Although the event is organized by The Peacemakers’ motorcycle club, member and organizer Kristy Fowler wants to encourage all interested parties to participate in the ride, regardless of their transportation.

“It’s not really about the motorcycle ride, it’s for the kids to have a good Christmas,” said Fowler. “We’re looking for anyone and everyone.”

With the help of several local businesses, last year’s inaugural Toy Run raised $1400 and helped to provide gifts to 54 families throughout Watauga County. Samaritan’s Purse also donated lots of leftover “unnecessary” items from their Christmas Child such as soap and liquid toiletry items.

“It was a nice little Christmas for each of those children,” said Fowler.

For more info on the Second Annual Watauga County Toy Run, contact Kristy Fowler at 828-265-0950


Want To Go?

Date: Saturday, October 21

Time: Registration 10:00 a.m./Ride 1:00 p.m.

Location: Boone Mall

Cost: One new (unwrapped) toy or a $10 donation