JAY – No matter what the weather, the 10th Annual Toys for Tots ATV ride from Farmington to Jay will be held Saturday.
The nonprofit toy run started 10 years ago when 35 ATV riders from area clubs brought new toys to be donated to the area’s neediest children through the Community Action Program. Each subsequent year since then, the numbers of riders have steadily risen to last year’s record-breaking number of 600 riders.
“It just fun meeting new people and seeing how many more will come this year,” said Samantha Dalot,18. It was Dalot’s parents, Karen and Bob, who are members of the Western Maine ATV Club, that got the toy run started a decade ago.
Joining the Dalot’s ATV club in sponsored the event are the Canton Trail Riders, the Mountain View ATV Club, Brettun’
s Wheelers ATV Club and many more riders from all over. The ride begins Saturday with rider registration from 8-9:45 a.m. at the trail head of the Whistle Stop Trail on Oakes Street in West Farmington.
The ride starts on the Whistle Stop Trail in West Farmington at 10 a.m. and continues on the trail to Wilton where an officer will stop traffic to cross Route 4 and continue on to the Jay Plaza parking area. A Jay police officer will escort riders over the Memorial Bridge to the trail head leading to Canton where the toys will be given to volunteers from the CAP agency.
“Last year, when all lined up, we had a string of ATVs that was more than 3 ½ miles long,” Karen Dalot said. “It was quite a sight to see.”
The ATVs will head in a single file into the woods to return to Jay Plaza where the Boy Scouts will be waiting to serve a free barbecue meal at approximately 2 p.m. with the help of Watson’
s Grilling in Mount Vernon which has donated the use of two huge grills.
Everyone who participates in the ride is required to register and will get a meal ticket. Last year, one of the lucky riders was the winner of the 50/50 raffle and rode away with $563. Many other gifts included gift certificates for local businesses, two helmets, riding gloves, T-shirts, hats and more.
“For the community we raised a total of $10,731.00 consisting of $1,231 in cash donations and collected 627 toys with a value of $9,500. This will certainly help put smiles on many faces during the holidays,” Karen Dalot said. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of so many volunteers, businesses who contributed merchandise, vendors and, of course, all of our ATV riders who made this day so special.” For more information please contact Bob or Karen Dalot at 897-2926.