PORTSMOUTH — Engines will be roaring as members of the Portsmouth Motorcycle Club host their annual Toy Run through Portsmouth Saturday.
The Toy Run, which raises funds for local families in need, welcomes all motorcycle enthusiasts and encourages riders to sign-up and join in on the event to bring cheer to children throughout the county.
“Portsmouth Motorcycle Club will hold its annual Toy Run this Saturday, Dec. 12,” said Gene “Chops” McAllister, Treasurer of Portsmouth Motorcycle Club (PMC). “You don’t have to ride to participate.”
Sign-ups will start at 11 a.m. at the clubhouse located at 101 Front Street in Portsmouth. The cost is $10, or a gift donated to help area families. The ride will leave promptly at 1 p.m. and travel through the city to Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services, Inc. (PEASI) at Gallia Street near AutoZone.
“There will be motorcycles of all makes and models, cars and trucks, so come on out and hang out with us and be a part of it,” McAllister said. “You don’t have to go on the ride. Just show up to donate a gift if you want.”
Christi Clifford of PEASI helps organize the program that gives gifts to 13 chosen families. Clifford shared the families are selected by the local school districts, who choose one family to be the recipient of the gifts.
“We have several sponsors including PMC, the PMC Ladies Auxiliary, PEASI, Barbour’s Auto Parts, Inc., Jet’s Gourmet Popcorn, Larry Moore Trophies & Sports,” stated Clifford. “And of course, Rural King allows us to set up there and collect donations. “
PEASI starts collecting for the season at its annual Stuff the Squad event at Rural King the Saturday before and the Sunday after Black Friday. After all of the gifts and monetary donations from the Toy Run are collected, a small group gathers to wrap them.
“We usually have a dinner with the families to give the gifts, but due to COVID-19, we cannot this year,” said Clifford. “So, we have members of PMC and a couple of people from PEASI that are going to deliver the packages directly to the families.”
Clifford shared everyone works very hard to make it a personal experience for the families. Anyone wanting to donate can do so until Dec. 19 by contacting Christi Clifford, 740-961-9848 or by emailing email@example.com.
Normally the PMC Ladies Auxiliary fills the stockings for the families in addition to other fundraising for the community.
“I am not sure if we will do stockings or think outside the box with the dinner being canceled this year,” Sue Reames, PMC Ladies Auxiliary Lead, said.
As pictured, members delivered Christmas decorations and hygiene items to our local shelters earlier this month.
“We opened the Scioto County Pandemic Center in the Armory earlier this year due to lay-offs and things around COVID-19,” said Maureen Cadogan, Executive Director of the Scioto County Homeless Shelter. “This was an effort to keep people off the streets and in a safe environment.”
The Ladies Auxiliary hosts a couple of fundraisers throughout the year to help buy the supplies for their donation. One is a spaghetti dinner held in early spring at the PMC clubhouse and the other is homemade Easter candy they sell throughout the community.
“Some of the monetary donations come from local community members and businesses that include Greg and Angie Dillow, sponsors of the Jake Dillow Memorial Ride, Junkyard Hogz, Boland’s Mini Mart and several others,” Reames said. “We owe thanks to a lot of the PMC members, both male and female, who contribute to making this happen.”
Reach Hope R. Comer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-353-3101 Ext. 1911
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