Toy Ride back for 22nd year

CONYERS -- The Conyers Riding Association Inc. is welcoming all motorcycle riders and enthusiasts to join in the fun Saturday, Dec. 1, in the 22nd Annual Christmas Toy Ride.

The event is held each year to benefit needy children and families in Rockdale County during the holidays. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Rockdale Emergency Relief. All production costs are paid by the Conyers Riding Association.

"We just wanted to give back to the community -- it's just a good thing to do," said Bill Nash, a past president of the Conyers Riding Association. "The main thing for me with Rockdale Emergency Relief is they really do screen their applicants. It's not just a hand-out thing. And also the fact that their percentage of overhead is very, very small compared to many charities."

Over the years the Christmas Toy Ride has generated more than $12,000 in donations and truckloads of toys to benefit the needy in Rockdale County.

This year's event begins at 10 a.m. with coffee and donuts at Target on Ga. 20 South. Entry fees are $15 per rider, or a toy of equal value, and $10 per passenger, or a toy of equal value. Riders will take off at 11 a.m. and end at Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson at 900 Dogwood Drive in Conyers. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be participants in the ride.

Refreshments, lunch and door prizes will be provided at the end of the ride. Non-riders are welcome to come to the start of the ride at Target and to the end of the ride to help celebrate the run and contribute to the cause. Donations of non-perishable food items and cash or check donations will also be accepted. Checks should be made payable to Rockdale Emergency Relief. All donations are tax-deductible.

Nash said the amount of participation in the event will be completely dependent on the weather. He said he's seen as many as 400 riders take part several years ago and easily expects 200 or so to participate this year.

Escort for the ride will be provided by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

This year's ride is held in memory of Robert Mayfield, a member of the Conyers Riding Association who was killed in 1996 in a motorcycle accident on Salem Road.

The Conyers Riding Association is dedicated to showing the positive contributions to the community from motorcyclists and to increase traffic awareness of motorcyclists on the roads.