With almost $2,000 raised at Saturday’s bike run, plus a stack of toys, the Franklin County Toy Project is off to a Harley-Davidson roar of a start.

Escorted by a sheriff’s deputy and a fire truck from the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department, 60 motorcycles took part in the 10th annual bike run, which zoomed from Carrabelle’s Fathoms to Harry A’s on St. George Island, each biker carrying donations and/or toys for the county toy drive.

“We are looking at nearly 700 children that we hope to assist this holiday season,” said Beth Brinkley, chair of the toy project, which is overseen by Franklin Promise Coalition.

“This year has been exceptionally difficult with the endurance of the hurricane in 2018, and the declining oyster industry,” she said. “Parents of these deserving children may not have the ability to provide Christmas gifts this year.”

The project continued its effort Wednesday, with Bagging for Bucks at the Gulfside IGA and Piggly-Wiggly in Apalachicola.

Collecting and assembling the toys for needy families will take place Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 16 and 17. Toys will be loaded Dec. 18 for disbursement at the Apalachicola food pantry hall, and Eastpoint and Carrabelle fire stations. Toy distribution will by Dec. 19, with parents advised to call ahead at 323-0187 if they cannot make the pickup times. An ID will be requested at pickup.

Brinkley said the toy project is in need of volunteers as well. “We will gladly accept donations of money or toys in order to provide gifts and personal items to the disadvantaged children of this community,” she said. “Our dedication to this cause is strong.

“If you can find it in your hearts to help in any way or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 850-323-0187, or bbrinkley@rvpsgi.com,” Brinkley said.

The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce’s December luncheon, at The Franklin at the Gibson Inn Dec. 4, will also be accepting toys and donations.

Please make checks payable to Toys for Tots and specify Franklin County in subject line. Send donations to the attention of Beth Brinkley at Resort Vacation Properties, 61 West Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island FL 32328.