By: Bill Gallaway
Sunday, November 27, 2016 was the date for the 36th Annual Jack Hurley Anderson Toy Parade in memory of Charles and Diane Bolt. This annual parade helps underprivileged children receive a toy from Santa on Christmas morning.
The weather was very cooperative around 2pm when the ride began with temps in the 60’s and plenty of sunshine. Many of the estimated 4,000 riders from Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina started arriving at around noon to meet up with friends and acquaintances while in the staging area. They rode many miles with toys strapped to their bikes and sticking out of saddlebags.
The ride started in downtown Anderson, SC at the White Jones Hardware parking lot at 2:00 PM and where I was in the staging area. The ride went thru downtown Anderson in a very organized fashion and finished at the Anderson Civic Center. Many thanks to the Police and road guards that helped secure our route and keep the public out of harm’s way.
Upon arrival at the Anderson Civic Center, the motorcyclists carried their toys to the volunteers that waited at the Anderson Cares and Shares storage trucks. In addition to all the toys donated, the organizers raised about $10,000 selling T-shirts and raffle-tickets. The money raised goes to the Brighter Christmas Fund, a charity that helps families in need at Christmas. The Independent Mail and the Foothills Community Foundation sponsor this charity.
All along the 5-mile route there were families of on-lookers taking pictures and waving to the bikers as they rode by wearing Santa hats on bikes decorated with wreaths and lights. Last reports state there were 2 box trucks and a large trailer full of toys. Bikers again showed their true colors by supporting the children at Christmas. This year the Confederates Motorcycle Club & Friends and the Anderson Independent Mail again sponsored the Toy Parade.