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Motorcycle ride to benefit needy

CONYERS - The season of giving kicks into high gear Dec. 1 with the 17th Annual Christmas Toy Run organized by the Conyers Riding Association.

The event will benefit Rockdale Emergency Relief and collect toys for children in need for the holiday season. The motorcycle ride has become a local tradition that has grown over the years and typically attracts 300 to 400 riders each year.

Last year's ride was the largest in the history of the event, with 459 motorcycle enthusiasts participating, said RER Director Ashley Roesler.

Riders are asked to pay a $10 admission fee or provide a new toy to join the toy run. Organizers are proud to note 100 percent of all proceeds benefit Rockdale Emergency Relief and its efforts to provide toys to needy children every Christmas.

"It might sound material from the outset, but being able to celebrate the holidays in the same way with the same traditions that other people do is crucially important," Roesler said. "The holidays are an opportunity for healing for families who are experiencing hardships and have been through a lot during the year. All parents and care givers, they all want to do something for their kids, especially around the holidays. This is their chance to do that with our help."

The Toy Run will start in front of the new Target on Ga. Highway 20 at 9 a.m. The ride begins at 11 a.m. The riders travel through north Rockdale County, including the covered bridge on Harrison Mill Road, before coming back to Conyers. The toy run ends at Granite Mountain Harley Davidson on Dogwood Drive with a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments provided.

An escort for the entire ride will be provided by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office. Nonriders are welcomed at the start and the end of the run. Donations of nonperishable canned food and cash donations to RER will also be accepted.

For more information, call 770-787-2868 or 770-388-0503 after 5 p.m. E-mail inquires may be sent to hdways@yahoo.com or mikelmac@bellsouth.net.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

' What: The 17th Annual Christmas Toy Run benefiting Rockdale Emergency Relief, organized by the Conyers Riding Association Inc.

' When: Donation collections begin at 9 a.m. and the ride begins at 11 a.m. Dec. 1

' Where: Riders will gather in front of the new Target department store Ga. Highway 20. The toy run goes through north Rockdale County and ends at the Granite Mountain Harley Davidson dealership in Conyers.

' More information: Call 770-787-2868 or 770-388-0503 after 5:30 p.m. E-mail inquires may be sent to hdways@yahoo.com or mikelmac@bellsouth.net.