Riding bikes to benefit children
Members of the Rutherford County Moose Lodge have been busy planning holiday aid for local children.
This year, the lodge will not only be coordinating their annual motorcycle ride co-sponsored by the Cleveland County Independent Bikers, but also will team up with Puzzle Creek Outdoor owner Jerred Roberts to host Rutherford County's inaugural Toy Bicycle Ride to benefit children who need a helping hand this Christmas.
"I used to ride motorcycles and always did the ride that the Moose Lodge does every year," said Roberts. "Since I sold my motorcycle I thought this would be a great way to get more people involved in a great charity in our county."
The Toy Bicycle Ride follows a 25.95-mile course that will begin at Puzzle Creek Outdoor on East Main Street in Forest City at 11 a.m. this Saturday.
The route will lead riders down U.S. Highway 221A into downtown Rutherfordton and then follow Edwards Street to Union Road. Traveling back toward Forest City, the course will turn onto Coxe Road and then Cleghorn Mill Road.
Participants will turn onto Poors Ford Road and then Oakland Road, traveling back up to 221A. The route will end at Puzzle Creek Outdoor around 12:30 p.m.
"The Rutherford County Moose Lodge really appreciates Jerred Roberts for bringing the cycling community into this great cause," said David Payne, coordinator of the lodge's Annual Motorcycle Toy Run for the past nine years.
Following the Toy Bicycle Ride, cyclists and non-toy ride participants are invited to have lunch at the Brew House and Bistro on West Main Street in Forest City.
The Moose Lodge will also hold its 14th Annual Motorcycle Toy Run on Sunday, Nov. 24.
Departing from the vacant parking lot next to Denny's restaurant in Spindale at 1:45 p.m., the motorcycle run is an 18-mile police escorted route, passing through Rutherfordton, Spindale and Forest City. The course will finish at the Moose Lodge on U.S. Highway 74B in Forest City.
Donated toys or stuffed animals turned in at each toy ride event should be new and unwrapped. All donations will help local needy children and their families during the holiday season.
Anyone interested in donating but unable to participate in the toy rides can bring toys or monetary donations to House of Payne Cycle Works located at 211 South Oak Street in Spindale, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
According to Payne, the Moose Lodge is provided a list of families in need through Rutherford County Schools or the Department of Social Services.
Last year, toy run donations helped nearly 140 children have a present to open on Christmas.
"At this time of year, we have so much to be thankful for," Roberts said. "It's a time for us to give back to others that need a helping hand at Christmas."