Talons Toy Run gives smiles to children for Christmas

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Talon Motorcycle Club members revved their engines for a good cause Sunday in Jackson County. It was all part of the 8th annual Talons Toy Run.

Dozens of motorcyclists from across the Gulf Coast trekked to Jackson County to kickoff the season of giving.

"A $10 toy, that's basically what we ask for and we take," said organizer and Talons member Lil John said.

The riders showed their huge hearts by bearing gifts from basketballs to brand new bikes. Those who didn't bring toys brought a lot of cash.

"We do it every year for the satisfaction of knowing that we did what we could to help those who are less fortunate than we are," a rider said.

After all the spirited giving, a caravan of riders revved their engines and hit the road for the toy run.

"Our destination is Salvation Army in Pascagoula," Lil John said.

The money and new toys collected will go to the Salvation Army for its Angel Tree Program. It helps provide Christmas presents for needy children. Last year, the riders raised and donated more than $7,000 and this year it was $6,000.

"We want all kids to have a smile and that is what we are all about. We are giving kids smiles for Christmas."

The extra assistance this holiday season is right on-time. Captain Andy Bailey said there are 300 more children compared to last year on the Christmas wish list.

"You are exactly right, on Christmas there is going to be 1,500 children in Jackson County alone that receive a great Christmas morning simply because of the people in this community," said Bailey.

"The bikers and the people who put on things like this help these children have a great Christmas."

The riders said that is very good news and they're happy to help.

"It is just a great bunch of people who like to get together and do something for the community."

Riders with the Talons Toy Run have raised and donated more than $50,000 over the past eight years.

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