Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 11, 2012

Santa Bikers

Twentieth Toy Ride scheduled this month

VALDOSTA — Christmas Eve may belong to Santa Claus but, for the past 20 years, the third Saturday of December has belonged to the Outback Riders.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Outback Riders hope to again lead thousands of motorcycles from Lake Park to Valdosta, carrying thousands of Christmas toys for Lowndes County’s boys and girls in need.

The Outback Riders started the Toy Ride in 1993, when an estimated 50-60 motorcycles participated. By 1994, more than 200 bikers participated in the Toy Ride. In more recent years, with clear skies, the Toy Ride has attracted more than 2,000 motorcycles.

While the Outback Riders appreciate this level of involvement, Craig Pennington, a Toy Ride organizer, asks all participating riders to follow directions at the ride’s start point at the Lake Park Outlets and the concluding destination at Valdosta’s Five Points.

In recent years, organizers have experienced difficulty getting some participants to park where they have been instructed to start and finish. Ignoring the parking instructions makes it more difficult for the hundreds of bikes still arriving to enter the lots, Pennington says. “So please follow the guide of our volunteer workers and abide by their requests,” he says.

The ride also has a police escort.

Through the years, the Outback Riders Annual Toy Ride has become an instrumental part of the Empty Stocking Fund, which is sponsored by the Salvation Army, Guardian Bank and The Valdosta Daily Times.

Each year, Salvation Army personnel receive the bikers’ toys, inventories them, then distributes them as best they can to match the wish lists of 1,200 area children registered with the Empty Stocking Fund. This year, Pennington says, the Outback Riders plan to also offer a monetary donation to the Empty Stocking Fund.

The Toy Ride welcomes all motorcycles. All participants are asked to bring a new toy for a boy or a girl; often, some riders bring more than one toy. For the participants, there will be a 50/50 drawing and door prizes. The first 1,000 riders receive stickers.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, registration begins at 10 a.m., Lake Park Outlets; the blessing of the bikes will be at 1:15 p.m.; bikes leave at 1:30 p.m. Will roll rain or shine. The motorcycles travel to Valdosta and stop at Five Points. Pre-registration: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Mikki’s on Northside Drive. More information: Call 561-7125.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-man_hunt001.jpg Dump truck thieves sought

    Authorities continued searching for suspects Monday evening connected to a stolen dump truck involved in a chase with law-enforcement.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • City workers strike natural gas main

    A gas leak evacuated a neighborhood Monday when workers struck a natural gas main.

    July 29, 2014

  • education.jpg Desegregation status approved

    Forty-three years after an initial lawsuit was filed to force the system to desegregate, Valdosta City Schools has officially been approved for “unitary status.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results