Toy Run collects toys for needy
With plush teddy bears and Barbie Dolls strapped to the back of their motorcycles, about 2,300 people participated in the 21st annual Toy Run.
Each year, the popular event aims at collecting Christmas toys for needy children in Haywood County.
"Without a doubt, the Toy Run is one of the largest, if not the largest, fundraiser for children in Haywood County at Christmas. It is important, especially in the recent years of the recession, to help children and by extension their families to have a Merry Christmas," Yount said.
There were 1,468 motorcycles who paraded from downtown Canton and ended at the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley where participants dropped off their toys and indulged in a barbecue lunch.
Yount said he expects to distribute up to $9,000 to the community in addition to the toys collected.
In terms of the number of participants, this year's Toy Run was the second best year with 1,486 registered bikes in 2010.
Last year there were 1,129 motorcycles and $6,200 in donations.
"We received some monies later and made a donation matched by Progress Energy for Share the Warmth and we purchased an additional 26 Christmas dinners for families through the Waynesville Rotary Club/Ingles Christmas Basket project," Yount said of last year's event.
He expects even more monetary donations to come in later this week.
"This event has literally grown to be a community wide event over the years. The Town of Canton and Evergreen Packaging were major contributors this year and Haywood County Law Enforcement is always one of our top partners," he said.