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Bikers' Toy Run Gives Foster
Children A Special Christmas
BY ERIC CARLSON
Santa Claus doesn't always wear
red velvet and ride a sleigh pulled
Local foster children will tell you
that he sometimes rumbles into town
on a big shiny motorcycle, wearing
a helmet and black leather.
About 50 "Cycle Santas" made
Christmas a little brighter for 27 fos
ter kids last weekend by taking them
on $100 shopping sprees with mon
ey raised during the second annua!
Brunswick County Motorcyle Toy
Another eight children who
couldn't attend the event will get
their "wish lists" of Christmas pre
sents later this week, said toy run or
ganizer Jerome Munna of Shallotte.
"I was really overwhelmed with
the support we got this year, espe
cially from the business communi
ty," Munna said. "They were giving
me checks without blinking an eye."
In all, the toy run raised about
$5,000 to help foster children and
needy families throughout Bruns
wick County. Extra funds not spent
during the shopping spree were put
in a special bank account to help
foster families with emergency
needs throughout the year, Munna
Brunswick County's Department
of Social Services and the Volunteer
Information Center will identify re
cipients for the donations. Jamie
Orrock, the county's DSS director,
said the extra money couldn't come
at a better time.
Foster care families get no addi
tional monthly allowance from the
state at Christmas time, so holiday
spending is often tight. The
Brunswick County Toy Run and the
Fraternal Order of Police "Shop
With a Cop" program in Southport
are helping fill an important need,
"I think this is one of the greatest
things to happen for foster children
in Brunswick County," Orrock said.
"A lot of these kids didn't have a
Christmas until they came along."
Money for the shopping sprees
was raised through donations by 120
local businesses, entry fees from the
motorcyclists and sales of commem
orative T-shirts depicting Santa
Claus waving from the seat of a
Harley Davidson motorcycle. The
back of each shirt displayed the
names of business sponsors.
The bikers met at the Wal Mart
parking lot Saturday moming for in
STAFF PHOTOS BY EMC CARLSON
MOTORCYCLIST and Ocean Isle Bcach Police Officer John
Goodwin (at left , above) joins a local foster child for a snack after
taking him on a $100 shopping spree funded by the second annual
BrunsH'ick County Motorcycle Toy Run Saturday. About 50 bikers
took part in an 80-mile ride that ended with a parade down Main
Street, Shallotte (pictured below). About $5,000 was raised for fos
ter children through donations from participants and local busi
stnictions and a moment of prayer
before joining formation for an 80
mile ride to Southport, Belville,
Supply and back to Shallotte. Of
ficers from the Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department and Shallotte
Police controlled traffic at major in
Board Member Offers Tips
For Teaching Professionals
Maintain a portfolio to depict pro
fessional development, document
disciplinary actions and be very
careful about unsupervised students.
Those were the suggestions new
Brunswick County Board of Educ
ation member and retired teacher Pat
Brown asked representatives of the
Brunswick County Association of
Educators at their Dec. 6 meeting to
relay to all BCAE members.
Superintendent Ralph Johnston
and acting principals' representative
Ed Lemon also attended the meeting.
Brown said documenting discipli
nary actions will protect the teachers
and help administrators and the
school board ensure proper proce
dures are followed, a BCAE news
President Mary Yates, in her clos
ing remarks, stressed the importance
of keeping open lines of communi
cation between the newly-elected
school board and the association.
Johnston suggested he begin
sending each school "board notes"
after each board of education meet
ing to keep staff better informed.
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Returning to the starting point,
the riders were met by DSS workers
and foster families. Each of the 27
children was paired with a biker for
a shopping trip through the depart
ment store's toy and clothing aisles.
Each child was treated to free hot
dogs and drinks at the store's snack
"I think they did an excellent
job," said foster care worker Iris
Derrick. "They were very respectful
of the foster families and the chil
dren's need for anonymity. The kids
enjoyed not only the shopping, but
also seeing the bikes and being with
Derrick rccallcd chuckling at the
sight of a big bearded biker with
long hair and tattoos, wearing black
leather and boots while holding sev
eral frilly dresses for a little girl
making her shopping selections.
Some of the children were put in
to foster care with little more than
the clothing on their backs. Derrick
said. The foster families get only a
limited clothing allowance, so new
shoes and a few pairs of pants were
sometimes more important to the
children than toys and games.
"These kids don't live in extrava
gant circumstances and wouldn't get
much extra for Christmas other
wise," Derrick said. "All of the
money raised (by the toy run) goes
straight to them. I just think it's
great and I hope they do it again
Munna said he has every intention
of having the toy run become an an
nual holiday tradition. He plans to
meet with co-sponsors from the
Concerned Bikers Association of
Brunswick County and the Blue
Knights police motorcyclist organi
zation to make next year's toy run
even bigger and better.
"I just want to thank the entire
community for all their support,"
Munna said. "It just goes to show
how a small community can group
together to do something that's real
ly needed. They helped us all realize
that the true reason for the season is
giving. That's what the Lord asks us
1 . Endanger
7. Retrieve gladly
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24. Shoulder piece
3. House cover
4. Lost time
7. Storage building
9. Fine china
1 2. Sent back to custody
(Answers are on Page 6-C)
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