By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Motorcyclists will be doing their part to make sure area children have a happy holiday season.
Two organizations, The Bikers United for Children (BUFT) and Chunky River H.O.G. Chapter 1273, are going to hit the streets in the next couple of weeks to collect toys for children so those youngsters will have a memorable Christmas.
BUFT, with Bob Anderson leading the charge, will be collecting toys for The Wesley House and Cans for Kids, while H.O.G. Chapter 1273, led by Chuck Knabusch, will be riding for the Salvation Army.
On Dec. 1, BUFT will conduct the organization's second annual Toy Run in downtown Meridian. Anderson said it will a challenge this year to meet the needs, but it is something the unified organization of area motorcycle clubs looks forward to tackling.
"Last year was super," said Anderson, who has been involved with many such toy drives over the last 20 years. "We had a great many people and supporters and we met the needs of many. But this year the need is greater."
Last year Anderson said almost 160 bikers participated in the Toy Run. This year he is looking at eclipsing 200 riders.
The Toy Run will begin at 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn on North Frontage Road. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Each participant is asked to enter the run with a new toy. The procession will be routed through downtown Meridian and arrive at College Park United Methodist Church across from MSU Meridian. Chili and cornbread will be served.
On the following Saturday, Dec. 8, the H.O.G. Chapter 1273 will hit the streets in Meridian to collect toys for the Salvation Army. Knabusch said registration will begin at 11 a.m at Chunky River Harley Davidson on South Frontage Road. The ride will commence through the streets of Meridian led by an escort from the Meridian Police Department. The procession will end back up at Chunky River. The ride is open to all riders and Knabusch said for everyone to bring an unwrapped toy for the children.
"Let's make a difference this holiday season," Knabusch said. "It's all about the children."
For more information about the BUFT event, contact Bob Anderson at 601-693-7504, or D.K. at 228-328-3338, or Eclipse at 601-479-8884. For the Salvation Army Toy Ride sponsored by H.O.G. Chapter 1273, you can contact Chuck Knabusch at 601-282-0064.