Photo by Corinne Nicholson
CONYERS -- Local motorcyclists will take to the streets next Saturday in an effort to bring some holiday cheer to area children while raising food donations for the community's less fortunate.
The Conyers Riding Association will host its annual Christmas Toy Run starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Target on Ga. Highway 20. All sign-ups will be at 9 a.m. on-site on the day of the event. The cost is $15 per biker and $10 for a passenger. Unwrapped toys of equal value can be donated instead of the admission costs.
The roughly hour-long ride is escorted by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and ends at the Granite Mountain Harley Davidson on Dogwood Drive with food, drinks, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.
All donations and proceeds from the event go toward Rockdale Emergency Relief, an agency of the United Way. CRA also encourages cash donations and donations of non-perishable canned goods.
The Christmas Toy Run has been going strong for the last 19 years. Bill Nash of the Conyers Riding Association said this year's 20th anniversary marks a milestone.
In addition to being a charity event, Nash said the Christmas Toy Run is also held in memory of resident Robert Mayfield. Mayfield was a Conyers resident and a founding Conyers Riding Association member who was killed in an accident in 1996. Nash said the event also raises awareness and reminds motorcyclists and motorists of safety measures when sharing the road.
As many as 480 motorcycles participated in the Christmas Toy Run in years past and, if the weather is nice, Nash said he expected another big crowd this year.
Nash encouraged the public to donate a toy or canned good even if they do not participate in the ride.
"It's a good cause," Nash said. "It helps both children with toys but it also helps the elderly and RER is a very fine organization that actually screens the people who apply for assistance."
Donations to help the less fortunate are needed "in this time more than ever with so many people out of work," according to Nash.
Nash said CRA has been RER's largest single contributor in the past, donating $7,800 to $12,000 from the Christmas Toy Run.
Checks should be made out to Rockdale Emergency Relief.
For more information, e-mail CRAnewspaper@