Toy run rolls on for a good cause

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By Susan Sharp

With a chill in the air almost 50 motorcyclists took off on Saturday in an effort to raise money to help others have Christmas.

The Caryville Civil War Council’s annual toy run has become the signature fundraiser for the all volunteer group who has made it their mission to help others during the holidays.

Each year riders decked out in their gear with their shiny bikes depart from the Backdoor Café for an afternoon of camaraderie and goodwill. This year’s event was no different from years past, even with the unseasonably cold weather.

“The first year we did this it was 28 degrees,” said David Wormsley, a CCWC founding member, as he addressed the group just before it departed.

One by one, the motorcycles roared past the start point with their operators faces hidden behind heavy masks, protecting them from the cold.

Riding through Demory into the Alder Springs community, the group condensed this year’s ride because of the weather. “They shortened the ride and came back to spend the afternoon together,” Wormsley said.

Even with a shortened ride, the sentiment behind why the cyclists turn out each year was the same. “Because it is a good thing,” said David Willoughby, whose son Harley was joining in the ride with him.

“For a 40 degree day we had 40 something bikes; it was a good day,” Wormsley said. He also said that even if someone missed the ride, they could still take part in the effort. “We have shirts for sale for $10 with the money going to the cause,” he said.

Larry Collier, also a CCWC founder, said the crisp air prompted one rider to back out at the last minute. “He knows who he is,” Collier said adding the cyclist had redeemed himself by selling $120 worth of the shirts from the ride.

“Even though the numbers were down by about half, we are still being positive that through individual and business donations we will be able to still help a lot of families at Christmas,” Collier said.

Each year the CCWC works to provide toys and food baskets to those who have hit hard times. What began as helping a few elderly people in Caryville is now a full-fledged operation that serves people throughout Campbell County.

To become part of this year’s effort contact Collier at (865) 494-7641 or Wormsley at 562-1777. The shirts can be purchased at the Back Door Café for $10.