Toy run held to benefit local children

Chris Dunham, PDT Sports Writer

December 25, 2012

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

On Sunday a toy run was held with area motorcycle clubs to benefit the children of The Counseling Center.

“For more than several years now, the Portsmouth Motorcycle Club puts on a toy run for area children in need. For the last three years one of the organizations they’ve designated is The Counseling Center,” said Gina Collinsworth, Director of Community Relations and Development for Compass Community Health and The Counseling Center.

Collinsworth said there were likely more than 100 people in attendance at the Sundays event.

“It was a really fun event. They had Santa on the back of a antique fire truck on loan from the Portsmouth Fire Department,” Collinsworth said.

She said after the run everyone traveled to The Counseling Center’s Clubhouse where they met up with about 20 kids.

“All of the kids got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas and each of the kids was given a toy,” Collinsworth said.

She said the staff and the community helped to provide gifts to each of the children in The Counseling Center programs.

Collinsworth said several area business, individuals and the staff of The Counseling Center contributed to ensure every child within The Counseling Center had presents this year for Christmas.

When asked if the kids would have had a Christmas otherwise, Collinsworth said, “it’s likely they would not have had Christmas if it was not for the generosity of the people in our community. I have some letters of appreciation that was sent to me from some of our clients. One of the women wrote, the last couple of Christmas’s there had not been very many toys for her kids. Understandably, she was in the middle of addiction and did not really remember about Christmas,” Collinsworth said.

Presents were provided to each of the estimated 175-200 kids due to the generosity of the community.

“I think the biggest thing this does for these kids is to let them and their parents know that people care about them. There are people in the world that want to help them and want them to know they are not forgotten,” Collinsworth said. “I think that was achieved this year. It feels good to know how much our community cares about our kids.”

She said The Counseling Center keeps going back to the community with events like the Natural High 5k and the annual celebrity dinner.

“This community continues to give. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude and joy, to know how much we care about each other in this community,” Collinsworth said.

Some of the groups that participated in the toy run included, Portsmouth Motorcycle Club, Bikers for Christ of Wheelersburg, Brothers Forgiven, Southern Ohio Road Riders of Portsmouth and Lost Tribe of Chillicothe.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.