Riding for community, spreading holiday cheer with Toys for Tots run

La Plata, MD

The American Legion Riders from Harry White Wilmer Post 82 (ALR 82,) in La Plata (lah-playta), Md., are spreading good cheer to the less fortunate this holiday season.

On Saturday, Nov. 28, ALR Post 82 hosted a highly successful Toys for Tots Run in partnership with Sgt. Jason Posey of the La Plata police department, a retired Marine. The “open to the public” ride saw 47 riders and passengers participate in a 1.5-hour ride traversing 48 miles of country roads in western Charles County. The event filled the back of a pickup truck with toys and raised $570 cash benefiting Toys for Tots in Charles County, Md., where the post is located.

As the riders approached the town, they met up with Santa Claus and his driver in a customized 1937 red Ford pickup truck and followed him back to the town’s Christmas Tree in front of La Plata Town Hall. As Legion Riders from four posts and invited guests unloaded their tour packs and luggage racks to fill the pickup truck, La Plata Police Chief Carl Schinner addressed the riders. “Given the times we are in, with other events like “Shop with a Cop” being canceled, we remain concerned for those who are in need. What you’ve done today will go a long way toward filling the gaps and making Christmas special for a lot of children,” said Chief Schinner.

Post 82 Riders Director James “Jamie Z” Zayas was impressed with the turnout and response from the community. “This was our first group ride open to the public and our guys hit it out of the park! We have already received positive feedback from community leaders such as Chief Schinner,” he said. “Partnering with our community and fellow Legion Riders to help others less fortunate makes Post 82 a recognized force in La Plata. Hopefully, through events like this one, we can continue to raise awareness for and membership of our great post!”

ALR Post 82 is planning to support other community activities in December such as Wreaths Across America and the annual “Santa Run,” a drive-by event delivering gifts to local veterans at the nearby Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home.

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