Florence Lions Club’s toy ride set to roll Sunday
FLORENCE, S.C. -- The Florence Lions Club’s 35th annual toy ride will hit the road Sunday as it runs from the parking lot at the Florence Center out to the Eastern Carolina Fairgrounds on East Palmetto Street.
“Thirty-five years of toys,” said Billy Jarrell, one of the event’s organizers. “That’s unusual for this kind of event for it to happen that many years.”
While Santa always rides in the event, this year Mrs. Claus is expected to join him.
The event was founded by Sandy Broach and Doug Guynn, former owners of Doug’s Harley-Davidson.
“Sandy ( and Doug were innovative in their thoughts, and it’s good to see it’s continued that long,” Jarrell said.
The annual event, the Lions Club’ only major fundraiser of the year, draws riders from across the Pee Dee on a ride that can split Florence in half for almost 10 minutes as it passes.
The money the event raises goes to purchase toys for children in need at Christmas, eye and ear exams for children and for the club’s annual Good Fellows event later in December.
“We give more than 100 families two bags of groceries,” Jarrell said. Those groceries are delivered by Lions as well.
This year’s ride gathers in the parking lot at the Florence Center at noon Sunday with a scheduled 2 p.m. departure.
Once at the fairgrounds, “we’ll have a meal, we’ll have some fine music, we’ll have an auction and also we plan to recognize Doug and Sandy for what they’ve brought to the community over 35 years,” Jarrell said.
The entry fee for the ride is $20 or the donation of a toy of equal or greater value than that. That covers the ride, the entertainment and the meal.
“All the fun they can have,” Jarrell said.