GASTONIA, N.C. — Bikers across Gaston County are coming together on Sunday to donate toys to children in need during this year’s annual Toys for Tots event.
The ride will kick off at the Erwin Community Center on N. Pryor Street and end at the Eastridge Mall parking lot, according to a news release.
Officials say this is the 35th year area bikers have partnered with the Salvation Army and Gaston County Social Services to distribute unwrapped toys to those in need this holiday season.
Gerald Tate, the event’s coordinator, says “To the bikers, this is something we take great pride in. We come out in droves!”
Officials say the Toys for Tots run is the oldest south of the Catawba River.
A police escort will be there for the participants’ safety, and refreshments will be available after the run for a ten-dollar donation.
The Salvation Army’s Tom Sherrill says “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.” ‘
Officials say the Toys for Tots Motorcycle Ride has been a major source of gift donations for The Salvation Army serving Gaston and Lincoln counties, and hundreds of bikers come out each year.
Held every year on the last Sunday in November after Thanksgiving, officials say the Toys for Tots event is not one to miss.
Officials say a dance will also be held the night before the run, on November 27th, with the location yet to be announced.
No weapons or animals will be allowed at the event.