It has been my honor to emcee the annual toy run for the last 21 years. It first began from a local Biker’s Association called the Mingos. This group wanted to buy gifts for all of our children. On the day of the toy run, they begin their parade with a police escort on the west side of town. The bikers ride down Main Street to the Mansion which is approximately 10 miles.
The first year we had about 60 bikes participate in this event. It began to grow every year to the point that we added five other children’s homes from northeast Mississippi. The highest number of bikes that we have had participate is 435 motorcycles from five states rumbling onto our campus. This is obviously an exciting time for many disadvantaged children.
The bikers come from all walks of life, from doctors, attorneys and the true Harley bikers. As I reflect upon the many years of the toy run, I can’t help but think of the joy these diverse bikers have brought to literally hundreds of children. Many of these children will never forget the experience brought by this unpretentious group of people.