By Sarah Plummer
Each year Mac’s Toy Fund gets kids involved in helping other kids stay active outdoors — and Mac’s need your help.
In 1999, Boy Scout Troop 103 took over the Mac’s Toy Fund Bike Drive from Shade Tree Car Club.
Since then, the Scouts have spent hundreds of hours refurbishing used bikes for the annual distribution party.
Last year. Troop 103 Scoutmaster Arnold Bolen said the Scouts readied 223 bikes and they look to beat their record each year.
This year they have 57 bikes complete, but they have few donated bikes left to work on and hope the community will share outgrown or used bikes with Raleigh County children in need.
The Scouts accept trikes, girl and boy bikes of all sizes, and adult bikes for older children.
“Donations have been slow coming over the last few years, but usually we have more than we have now,” said Bolen.
The Scouts also accept donations of new bikes for the drive.
Boy Scout Josh Wellman, 13, said he was worked on the bikes for two years as a member of Troop 103, but has been helping out since his brother was in the troop.
“I enjoy getting greasy and helping those in need,” he said. “On the day of the party, we move the bikes and help parents or kids find the bike that is right for their family.”
Andrew Mullins, 13, added, “It is nice to give bikes to kids whose parents can’t afford it. I remember when I was younger and how much I liked to ride. I think it is a really good project.”
Clay Morton, also 13, has been working on bikes for three years.
“Sometimes there are bikes with problems that are confusing, but with a little help we always figure out how to get them fixed up,” he said.
It makes him feel happy to see parents and kids excited to bring bikes home, he added.
Bolen said in addition to community support through donations, Troop 3 leader Walter Winant and other volunteers from the community help get the bikes refurbished.
Ride N Slide Sports in Beckley is providing bike parts at cost for the group again this year and Mac’s Toy Fund provides a bike helmet for each child getting a bike.
Used bikes can be dropped off behind the right side of the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on North Eisenhower Drive or at Beckley Fire Station No. 3, also on North Eisenhower.
If you would like to donate a bike and need someone to pick it up, please call 304-252-3874, or e-mail bsa.troop.103. firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a monetary donation to Mac’s Toy Fund, mail checks to Mac’s Toy Fund, P.O. Box 2398, Beckley, WV 25802.
Used toys and dolls should be dropped off at BJW Printing and Office Supplies, 3100 Robert C. Byrd Drive, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
New or gently used coats can be dropped off at Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive.
This year’s Mac’s Toy Fund Distribution Party is scheduled for Dec. 15; invitations will be sent by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.
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Following are the most recent donations to Mac’s Toy Fund for the 2012 season:
Troy and Jean Mitchem of Crab Orchard, in memory of grandson Troy Mitchem III, $25
Patricia and Norman Greene of District Heights, Md., in memory of our children Ira Greene and Norma Green and Baby Victoria, $100
Mary Lou Merrylees of Beckley, $25
J. Scott and Suzanne Cole of Greensburg, Pa., $25
Pathfinders Sunday School Class, First United Methodist Church, “May the Lord continue to bless your work”; $50
Rondal Shrewsbury of Beckley, $50
Dick and Peggy Brooks of Beckley, $25
Butch and Kathy Lilly of Ghent, in memory of Bill Lilly Sr., $250
Patricia Johnston of Beckley, $100
Ida Pitotti of Beckley, $25
J.C. and Sharon Barber of Beckley, in memory of Garnet Barber, $50
Roberta Profitt of Beckley, in memory of Lenox Profitt, $25
Patty Rockwell of Beckley, $100
Dallas Phipps of Beckley, $100
Dwight and Karen Zutaut of Peterstown, in memory of son Matthew Dwight Zutaut, $25
Wilda Todd of Beaver, in honor of great-grandchildren Trenton Turner, Chloe Turner, Eddie Kirk and D.J. Kirk, $100
Today’s total: $1,150
Total to date: $4,790.90
Send donations to:
Mac’s Toy Fund
P.O. Box 2398
Beckley, WV 25802