Rogersville 'Toy Run' Saturday benefits Christmas for the Children

Jeff Bobo • Sep 19, 2019 at 8:54 AM

ROGERSVILLE – Hawkins County is going to be biker paradise Saturday with the Of One Accord ministry's 19th annual Toy Run touring the county in the afternoon, followed by the 3rd annual Rogersville Bike Nite Saturday evening.

The Toy Run is the ministry's main fundraiser for the annual Christmas for the Children program which provided Christmas parties and gifts to 1,320 underprivileged children in Hawkins and Hancock counties last year.

All comers are welcome to participate in the Toy Run, which features a motorcycle ride from Rogersville to Church Hill on Highway 11-W, and then a return trip back to Rogersville via scenic Goshen Valley Road.

Biker will meet at the Park Boulevard shopping center parking lot across from Rogersville City Park Saturday at noon, and depart for Church Hill at 12:15 p.m.

The Rogersville group will meet up with Church Hill bikers at 12:45 pm. in the Homestead Antiques parking lot at the Church Hill Shopping Center, and depart for their ride through Goshen Valley at 1 p.m.

Upon their return to Rogersville bikers will convene at Rogersville City Park around 1:45 p.m. where an antique vehicle Cruise-in will already be underway.

The post-ride party at the park includes live music by Bluegrass group “String Break,” lunch, and drawings for door prizes.

A $10 contribution, or a brand new children's toy, is requested per rider to participate in the Toy Run, or to enter your ride in the Cruise-in.

But, you don't have to be a biker or a classic car owner to participate in the fun and contribute to the Christmas for the Children program.

The Cruise-In begins around 12:30 p.m. at Rogersville City Park, and the public is encouraged to bring a lawn chair and join the party. All contributions are welcome, and 100% of the money raised goes directly into the Christmas for the Children program.

It's no coincidence that two motorcycle related events were scheduled in Rogersville on the same day. Organizers were hoping to cash in on each other's popularity.

For more information about Rogersville Bike Nite check out the link in the online version of this article at www.timesnews.net

In its heyday the Toy Run attracted more than 200 riders every year, which definitely created a rumbling echo throughout Goshen Valley as they passed by.

A few years back, however, a motorcycle club that had taken on the Toy Run as its annual project disbanded, and since then the number of riders per event has hovered around 100.

Of One Accord director Sheldon Livesay told the Times News on Wednesday that Christmas for the Children experienced a major spike in demand last year, increasing the number of children served from right around 1,000 in 2017 to 1,320 in 2018.

That number will only increase in 2019, making Saturday’s Toy Run fundraiser crucial to the success of the program this year.

In its 30 years of existence, Christmas for the Children has yet to disappoint a child, and despite the increased in demand, Livesay said he plans to keep that streak going.  

That’s why Livesay is praying for pretty weather Saturday, a good turnout for the Toy Run, and plenty of contributions.

“We're hoping to bring a whole day of activity together for the bikers, because right around the time the party ends at the park, they're almost ready to start Bike Nite downtown,” Livesay said. “This fundraiser is crucial to the success of our Christmas program because a lot of the donations don't start coming in until December. The Toy Run helps us bridge that gap so that we don't have to borrow from other pots in the ministry to do some early shopping, catch some pre-holiday sales and discounts, and stretch our Christmas dollars as far as we can. We try to guarantee that every child who needs Christmas in the county will get it.”

For more information about the Toy Run, how to make a contribution, or how to apply to be a recipient of Christmas for the Children, contact program director Jennifer Kinsler at (423) 327-5480.