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EPD rounding up toys

Off-roaders ride for charitable drive

Posted: November 30, 2012 5:11 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Mid-Carolina Jeepers off-road vehicle club rounds-up toys for the Elgin Police Department’s toy drive.

Donations for new toys are currently being accepted for the 2012 Elgin Police Department’s (EPD) Toy Round-Up. The effort, an EPD tradition for six years, is being spearheaded by Sgt. Renee Wilson.

“We had about 100 children (47 families) that we helped last year. We provided each of the children with a Christmas gift and the families were given food baskets,” Wilson said.

The food baskets are coordinated by Elgin IGA Manager Tony Bonds. Bonds provides the Round-Up with items for complete Christmas meals including ham, bread, several cans of vegetables, potatoes, pies and fruit -- all at cost.

Wilson said that in previous years the drive reached families living as far as the Wateree River, but that due to a lag in donations they may have to stay closer to Elgin’s town center this time around.

“We just try to reach those most in need, so that they have a good Christmas,” said Wilson.

A handful of volunteers devote their weekend and vacation time to shop for, sort and distribute the items.

New toys can be donated to the EPD at Elgin Town Hall. Monetary donations are also being accepted to purchase age-appropriate gifts for children as well as food items for families. To donate, contact Wilson at 438-9917 for more information. December 14 is the deadline for donations.

One example of how groups are contributing to the EPD’s toy drive comes from Mid-Carolina Jeepers, an off-road vehicle club. The group held a charity ride Nov. 17 to benefit the drive. Twenty-five off-road vehicle drivers contributed toys in exchange for an opportunity to spend a beautiful day challenging their driving skills. The club provided lunch and donated 50 toys.

The event consisted of group led trail rides around the privately-owned property in order to learn safe and effective off-road driving.

Mid-Carolina Jeepers’ Brooks Bickley described the types of maneuvers undertaken at the event.

“They practiced hill descents and off-camber driving along with lessons on off-road vehicle recovery techniques,” Bickley said.

“Off-camber” refers to the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear.

Bickley said the club is a family friendly organization that follows “Tread Lightly” practices when it comes to off-road driving and camping. Tread Lightly is a separate non-profit organization with a mission to “promote responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.”

The local group of off-road enthusiasts has trips that range from mild to extreme difficulty throughout the year to parks all over the southeastern United States.

Jeepers member and EPD Lt. Edmond Hines said that the group has donated toys to the Elgin Police Department’s Toy Round Up for three consecutive years.


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