Polk County Toy Run set for Saturday

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Motorcycles start at Saluda Fire Department, end at courthouse

COLUMBUS — This year’s Polk County Toy Run to provide toys to children in need for Christmas will be on Saturday.

The Toy Run begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Saluda Fire Department, with motorcyclists leaving at 2 p.m.

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Motorcycles will travel down U.S. 176 from Saluda through downtown Tryon and into Landrum, then into Green Creek and up Highway 9 to Mill Spring. The toy run ends at the Polk County Courthouse in Columbus.

Polk County Toy Run organizer Barry Gee said the cyclists normally arrive at the Polk County Courthouse in Columbus around 3:15 p.m.

“They run through the towns of Saluda at 2 p.m.; Tryon at 2:15 p.m.; Landrum at 2:30 p.m.; Green Creek at 2:45 p.m.; Mill Spring at 3 p.m.; and the courthouse in Columbus at 3:15 p.m.,” Gee said.

Cyclists can register at the Saluda Fire Department at 11 a.m., where a barbecue lunch will be provided with a new $10 toy or a $10 donation. At the Saluda Fire Department, there will be a 50/50 drawing, door prizes and T-shirts. Santa Claus will also make an appearance at the event.

Motorcyclists and residents can drop off toys at the courthouse.

Local residents are encouraged to welcome the motorcyclists at the courthouse, as well as support riders as they come through each of the towns.

Money raised through sponsorships and toys brought to the toy run help ensure that children in Polk County have a bright Christmas.

The toy run is coordinated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Steps to HOPE, the Polk County Department of Social Services and Thermal Belt Outreach. Toys collected from the run are distributed throughout the county to children in need by these organizations.

Last year’s Toy Run was one of the largest in its history, with 544 motorcycle riders and 750 people participating. The county collected 56 bags of toys and $22,100 in gross fundraising. In 2016, there were 400 motorcycles, 550 people, 47 bags of toys and $16,900 in fundraising.