This morning was the annual BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia and BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta toy run for the Towns County Sheriff’s Office’s Empty Stocking Fund. The dealership acts as a drop off point for toys from customers and people who have heard about the ride through word of mouth. This year there were two large, motorcycle sized boxes full of toys. I wonder where they got those big motorcycle sized boxes? The toys are then usually loaded up in the dealership’s van and taken to the sheriff’s office by a caravan of motorcycles. The ride is open to all motorcycles and all they ask is that you bring one unwrapped toy the day of the ride or drop one off in the toy box before the ride. Of course the largest percentage of motorcycles are BMW but there were Ducatis, Hondas, Kawasakis, Triumph, Can Am Spyder and more. There were 46 motorcycles this year. There was even a family of four on a BMW with a side car! It’s a fun day. The owner’s of the dealership provide coffee and a light breakfast for the riders before the toys get loaded up. The sheriff is there at the justice center waiting for us to arrive. There are offices packed with donated toys at the justice center. The sheriff goes out of his way to thank the riders, often thanking as many as he can individually. The numerous ways the toys get distributed is really interesting too. Families can come pick up the toys and even have them wrapped if they are unable to it themselves. Deputies can meet parents to deliver toys, deputies can and do drop off toys on Christmas Eve, leaving them at a spot designated by the parents so they can retrieve them to be put under the tree and some toys are even delivered on Christmas by the deputies in person. It’s all based on what the family wants to do.
Since it’s December the weather here can be frigid or warm. In the past we’ve been rained on, snowed on, iced on and had freezing fog. This was the first ride I’ve been on where it was sunny! On my way to the dealership this morning it was a crisp 32° (F). When we departed Marietta for Young Harris it had already warmed to 41° but when we got to Jasper the sun suddenly disappeared, it got overcast and the temperature rapidly dropped to 30°! As we got to Ellijay, the sun came out again and it warmed into the low 40’s but when we reached our pit stop in Blue Ridge it was 32° and freezing fog again. By the time we reached the justice center in Young Harris it was sunny again and 46°. Talk about roller coaster weather! But I think the cold weather and the frozen fog in the tree tops helps put you in the Christmas spirit and really does make us feel like two-wheeled Santas. After the toys are delivered we usually break up into smaller groups and head for lunch or to go do some riding in the area.
As Sheriff Clinton told us, “It warms your heart to know that you helped make sure a child had a Christmas present under the tree.”