Despite the cold weather and mist, many people turned out to get their picture taken with Santa Clause at Food Lion at 6510 Chapman Hwy. in South Knoxville this past Saturday. Food Lion, along with the Shiloh Riders Association are working to collect 100 bicycles to donate to Toys for Tots. The bikes will be given away this holiday season to needy children.
“At first our goal was 25 bikes, then we went to 50 and finally decided – hey let’s just shoot for 100” said Jack Mills who works in community affairs for Food Lion. The store had collected 32 bikes by midday with most on display throughout the store. “We’d like to fill the store with bikes,” said Mills. “I want them on all the frozen food cases, in produce, everywhere we can put them.”
JT Cash, who is with the Shiloh riders stated, “We have collected money to buy several more bikes. We are working on our goal.”
The store gave away free coke, chips, hot dogs and Red Baron Pizza. Kids could get their picture taken with Santa on his Harley Davidson motorcycle for a minimal charge of $5, all of which went to the Toys for Tots drive.
Representatives from the Center of Hope were also at the event taking applications for families in need and letting the public know about the Thanksgiving dinner that they have planned. Volunteers are needed for this event and all in need are welcome to attend. The Center of Hope is a non-profit organization that helps feed, clothe and better educate people in need.
Thomas Long from the Young Marines was also at the event representing the Marines. The Marines are instrumental each year in helping with the Toys for Tots drive.
Jack Mills who was recently promoted from produce manager to community affairs with Food Lion stated, “This is one of the hardest jobs I’ve done. It’s also one of the best.”
On November 4th, close to 5,000 bikes attended the 11th annual bike ride sponsored by
Shilo Riders Assoc. Inc., Buddies Barbeque, WIMZ 103.5, Food Lion, Volunteer TV, Channel 8. The yearlong process of that event proved to be another success despite he cooler temperatures of past rides.
While these two events are helping to bring smiles to the faces of children this holiday season there is still much to do. Donations are needed for food and toys to make sure that every family in need this holiday season will be served.
Toys for Tots drop off locations are at all the Food Lion locations in Knoxville and Sevier County as well as at the Seymour Herald office at 500 Maryville Hwy. For more information on how you can help, contact Jack Mills at 573-9594.
at time of press:
Cagle Bonding Co.
Don Floyds Hardware
First TN Bank –
Food Lion store #785
IBP Ground Beef
Jack Mills Landscaping
& Tree Service
Cosmetics of Seymour
Shoffner Mechanical-Industrial Electrical Div.
Smoky Mountain Embroidery
Tudor House Antiques