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Toys for Tots donations to be collected during holiday bike ride

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 3:55 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:42 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Toys for Tots collection boxes in businesses across the area are starting to fill up with donations. The one at Bazil’s in Appleton is part of the 2021 New Belgium Toys for Tots Santa Ride.

“We decided to do a little winter route and we said let’s collect toys when we do this. And we all dressed as Santa, decorated our bikes with lights, then we started pulling a sleigh with music and collecting toys and just started snowballing and getting bigger and bigger each year,” says organizer Todd “DJ” Talady.

This year’s Santa ride is on December 4. Organizers say the ride will take off around 1:30 that afternoon from Houdini Plaza in Appleton. According to Talady, “We kind of work our way down College Avenue, loop through the roundabout in Kimberly, hoping to meet up with the Kimberly Fire Department, again, and then go through a little bit of neighborhood there and then we end at Tanner’s for some pizza.”

The ride is fun, not a competition at all -- and costumes matter, Talady adds, “Santa or an elf or snowman, whatever your Christmas attire choice is, that would be great.”

Spreading holiday cheer while supporting a good cause is what the ride is all about. “It just really speaks volumes to just the kindness and compassion of our community. And even with COVID last year, thought it was going to be a little bit rough, but it wasn’t. It was bigger than ever,” says Talady.

Organizers are hoping even more people hop on their bikes and join the ride this year, bringing a new unwrapped toy as an entry fee. And that the New Belgium Toys for Tots Santa Ride collects a semi full of toys along the way, because they understand the impact it can have on kids in the community.

Click here to learn more about the Santa Ride. Click here to find more Toys for Tots drop-off sites near you.

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