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Toys for Tykes II keeps toy drive tradition alive

When former event organizer Tony Tarver announced the end of the original Toys for Tykes program last year, it appeared as though the 24-year-old toy drive was coming to an end.

Several in attendance who participated in the annual motorcycle run did not want to see that happen.

“It hit a few of us at the same time,” said participating “Santa Claus” Glen Gilmore, “I didn’t want to see this end and a lot of the other guys contacted me with the same feeling.”

Gilmore said he and a few others set out to keep the event alive.

On Saturday, Dec. 6, there will be a motorcycle run supporting Toys for Tykes II. The group will meet at Friendship Park, where they will have coffee and doughnuts for early arrivals. At 11 a.m., the ride will begin, heading towards Picayune City Hall on Goodyear Boulevard. Once there, there will be a short program where the national anthem will be performed and veterans will be honored. The ride will then continue to the American Legion at 2500 Union School Rd., where lunch will be served to go along with live music.

“The only cost for this event is an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl,” said Gilmore, who thanked the city of Picayune and the American Legion for their role in keeping the event going.

All toys collected will go to the Angel Tree Ministries, who provide toys to children with incarcerated parents.

The goal of this ride is to make sure needy children have a good Christmas, said Gilmore.

The ride and toy drive are open to anyone who wants to participate.