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Buck Jones Toy Run a success
More than 100 motorists participate, donate gifts
4PRINT posed
Deputies who provided an escort for the Buck Jones Toy Run pose for a photo with Santa Claus and with ride organzer Don Parkinson before the group left the Cumming Fairgrounds. - photo by Jim Dean Forsyth County News

The revving of motorcycle engines echoed through the Cumming Fairgrounds as more than 100 motorists gathered for the 25th annual Buck Jones Toy Run Sunday.

Participants rode from the Cumming Fairgrounds to Dawsonville City Hall and finally to Dahlonega High School, leaving children’s toys at every stop.

The event began in 1991, orchestrated by Buck Jones, a former Cumming police chief who also worked for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.

Jones started the toy drive after seeing a lack of charities helping families with presents at Christmas. After his death in 2010, Bikers Dream of Atlanta took over the event’s organization.

“We’re collecting toys for three different counties: Forsyth, Dawson and Lumpkin counties,” said event organizer Don Parkinson, a longtime friend of Jones. “Buck started this ride 25 years ago, and I started helping Buck in 1996 — and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“[He] always found it was good to help the people of these counties and north instead of going to other counties that receive a lot of help. It’s a lot of riders out to enjoy the day who deliver one toy to each county and/or gift cards and gift certificates.”

After Jones’ passing, Parkinson said they began calling the event the Buck Jones Memorial Toy Run.

“It’s just a community effort to make Christmas a little happier for kids who aren’t doing so well,” Parkinson said. “This is the event of the year for some people. This is one of the more fun [motorcycle] things — we do it just to help people and the joy and camaraderie.”

The largest turnout Parkinson can remember was one year with more than 600 motorcyclists.

Atlanta Highway Indian Motorcycle, along with other organizations, sponsored the event.