Meridian Star

December 9, 2012

Toy ride benefits Salvation Army

By Michael Stewart / Executive Editor
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A large pink stuffed toy was strapped to the back of Collinsville resident Christi Jones' motorcycle Saturday morning as she pulled into the parking lot of the Chunky River Harley-Davidson.

    A matching stuffed toy, equally as large but brown in color, was perched on a motorcycle driven by Jones' husband, Gary Jones.

    The couple was among scores of bikers who showed up at the motorcycle dealership owned by Meurice and Peggy LeFevre for a toy ride to benefit the Salvation Army.    

    "This is our 12th year to participate in the ride," Gary Jones said.

    The cost to participate in the ride was an unwrapped toy. Many of the bikers brought several gifts.

    "It's for a good cause," said Lake, Miss., resident Shannon Bates as he handed toys to Salvation Army Maj. Walter Strong, who loaded them into the back of a box truck.

    "We really appreciate their efforts," Strong said of the toy drive sponsored by the Chunky River H.O.G. Chapter 1273.

    The toys will be distributed to area children on Dec. 19-20.

    Meridian Police Department officers on motorcycles escorted the bikers on a ride up Highway 39 North, across North Hills Street to 8th Street and back to the Chunky River Harley-Davidson dealership.

    Chunky River H.O.G. Chapter 1273 Chuck Knabusch said the toy ride was a good way for the organization to help the community out during the holiday season.