The 10th annual Eldridge Toy Run is sponsored by vehicle enthusiasts and businesses from all over northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama.
“Anyone can join the toy run, whether you’re a motorcycle or antique car enthusiast or not, because the toy run is all about the kids,” Alabama benefit team member Brenda McClinton said. “We will also have a bike and car show and lunch will be served at noon at the Children’s Home in Eldridge, and we’re all getting very excited.”
Since 1948, the Freewill Baptist Children’s Home in Eldridge has given a home to children in all age groups without state or federal funding. Most of the support is from the home-base church with many other churches, civil groups and volunteers lending a hand both in services and financial support.
Mississippi benefit team member Don Norwood said this is not your ordinary Toy Run, as participants are asked to bring gift cards and donations to help support the Children’s Home not only at Christmas, but throughout the new year.
“We do present gifts to all the children from their own Christmas ‘wish list,’ but we suggest gift cards and donations given to the home to help sustain it the entire year,” Norwood said. “Since we began the ride, it continues to grow. Last year, we had over 650 bikes and donations reached $59,000, and over 1,200 people showed up in support of the children. We’re hoping this year will be even bigger, because this children’s home needs our support so it can continue to help the children who live there.”
Norwood and McClinton said riders will be gathering at various locations in Mississippi and Alabama for organized rides to the Children’s Home in Eldridge, and anyone can join the event at any of the following locations (gathering and/or kickstands up times are included):
•Florence, Tuscumbia, and Russellville Area — Customized Cyclez located at 1110 Alabama Hwy. 72 West in Tuscumbia at 8 a.m. with kickstands up at 9 a.m.
•Russellville — Fred's in the old Food World parking lot on Alabama Hwy. 43 South at 9:30 a.m. with kickstands up at 10 a.m.
•Amory, Miss. — Wal-Mart with kickstands up at 10 a.m.
•Hamilton — River Road Citgo at Exit 14 with kickstands up at 10 a.m.
• Haleyville — Arrival at 10:30 a.m. No stop.
• Natural Bridge — Arrival at 10:40 a.m. No stop.
• Jasper — Parkland Shopping Center (next Captain D’s) 9 a.m. with kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. for the escorted ride to Eldridge.
• Sumiton — Alfa Insurance/Walmart at 10 a.m.
• Tuscaloosa — Northport Civic Center at 10 a.m.
• Sulligent — Piggly Wiggly Parking Lot at 10:15 a.m.
• Winfield/Guin — Plaza BBQ Parking Lot at 10:30 a.m.
“If you don’t want to ride in one of the group rides, you can just join us at the children’s home at noon,” Norwood said. “Because no matter where you come from or how you get there, we guarantee you will leave with a warm heart for your ride home.”
For more information, call Brenda McClinton at 205-275-8961, Steve Odom at 205-221-9487 or 295-8250 or Greg Clark at 2056-275-8087 or 205-648-6061. Information is also available at the Eldridge Toy Run website at www.echbenefit.com.