Gulf Coast cyclists collect toys for children in need - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulf Coast cyclists collect toys for children in need

One by one, cyclists from different coast communities rolled into downtown Ocean Springs with a bike in one hand and a toy in the other. (Photo source: WLOX) One by one, cyclists from different coast communities rolled into downtown Ocean Springs with a bike in one hand and a toy in the other. (Photo source: WLOX)
Donating a toy meant you could join the nearly 12 mile ride from Ocean Springs to Biloxi. Every toy received from a Gulf Coast resident at Sunday's toy drive will go to a Gulf Coast child for Christmas Day. (Photo source: WLOX) Donating a toy meant you could join the nearly 12 mile ride from Ocean Springs to Biloxi. Every toy received from a Gulf Coast resident at Sunday's toy drive will go to a Gulf Coast child for Christmas Day. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

More than 80 cyclists from across the coast hit the road Sunday morning in an effort to give needy children presents to open up on Christmas Day.

"We're just a group of friends that get together and try to do good things for the community," Ride Coordinator Danny Walton said.

One by one, cyclists from different coast communities rolled into downtown Ocean Springs with a bike in one hand and a toy in the other. Walton said it was like a dream coming true right before his eyes.
    
"This event was a dream. I seen it being done at a car show, an antique car show. You donate a toy and you can participate in the car show," Walton said with a smile.

In this case, you donate a toy and you can join the nearly 12 mile ride from Ocean Springs to Biloxi. Every toy received from a Gulf Coast resident at Sunday's toy drive will go to a Gulf Coast child for Christmas Day.

"It's awesome! I just can't wait to see the kids out and around on their bikes. We also provided helmets for each bike, so it's an incredible thing," Gulf Coast Bicycle Club member Eddie Holmes said.

Before the cyclists took off, they were led in prayer by Pastor Ben Barlow of the First United Methodist Church in Long Beach.

"God, we thank you for loving us. Keep us safe. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen," Pastor Barlow prayed.

Then the cyclists took off to enjoy their ride.

"There's not much to not like about cycling. I love being out in the wide open, in the fresh air. I love the exercise that you get without pounding on your body. I love meeting people in the cycling community," Bay St. Louis resident Myron Labat said. 

Without the community, the Ride for Tots Toy Drive wouldn't have been such a success.

"It just warms my heart to know that people love to give back. There were several people that couldn't participate and said, 'I want you to pick up a bike for a kid and make sure it goes to a kid on the Gulf Coast.' And we did. We made all those dreams and requests come true," Walton said.

The cyclists finished their ride back at Tri Hard Sports in downtown Ocean Springs with hot chocolate and donuts, donated by Krispy Kreme.

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