The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 11, 2009

Lending a hand

Boy Scouts lend hand for Mac’s Toy Fund

Local Boy Scout troops are continuing their annual tradition of refurbishing used bicycles for Mac’s Toy Fund.

Mac’s Toy Fund was started by former Beckley Post-Herald editor Ted McDowell during the Great Depression as a program to provide toys at Christmas for children of underprivileged families.

Thursday night, Boy Scout Troop 103 of the Dry Hill-Prosperity Community Center and Troop 295 of Perry Memorial Methodist Church in Shady Spring met at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center to clean and repair used bicycles in preparation for the annual Mac’s Toy Fund distribution party on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the convention center.

“I think it’s great. It teaches them not only about recycling used bikes for somebody who needs it, but it also teaches them how to fix bikes,” said Bill Sumpter, father of two Boy Scouts who stayed to help his sons.

“It’s a win-win all the way,” Sumpter said.

The boys worked in small groups independently, asking for little help from their scoutmasters.

They were diligently replacing tires, chains, seats, brakes and “polishing off the rust to make it shiny,” as 12-year-old D.J. Adkins of Troop 103 described it.

“I have to get all of this rust off of it,” he said, concentrating on an old, rusted bicycle chain he was cleaning.

“We’re helping other kids that haven’t had a bike. It will be pretty nice for them to have a good Christmas.”

D.J.’s brother, 11-year-old John, said, “I love it!”

“We give them to little children for Christmas. I hope they’re happy,” John said.

Cody Simmons, 13, said, “It makes me feel special that we get to help out kids.”

The Boy Scouts are encouraging community members to drop off old bicycles for Mac’s Toy Fund through Friday, Dec. 18.

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