Monday, December 12, 2016

Santa's Helpers Run (AKA Toys For Tots Run) 12-3-2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016….we met at the Chili’s in N. Stafford to begin the 7th annual ‘Santa’s Helpers Toy run’….Dan has figured out this Toys For Tots run every year for seven years….  He arranges the toy collection at various business, settles the brunch at Chili’s with the corporate manager, Derek and the local store manager, then secures a commitment from the Stafford County Sherriff’s office to provide an escort from Chili’s to the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, VA.  I think Dan is getting good at this as he laughs at the stress it causes him!

Chili’s opened at 8AM and provided free coffee for the early arrivers….then about 9:30 the folks begin trickling in.  The “social” time before we leave to go north at Noon is the last time some of us will see each other till the Spring.  Socializing, something the Princess excels at and is the talent of choice for the moment.  She works the crowd like she’s giving away someone else’s $100 bills!  I stay outside to welcome the folks as they arrive while keeping a watchful eye on the special rides as I take pictures of the event.  Dan mingles inside mostly to make sure everyone is enjoying their time while he keeps an eye on the clock so we stay on schedule.  Dan also invites the Deputies inside for a meal as a thank you for the service they provide us. We think everyone should always thank any Law Enforcement folks you see for their service to our communities….they are very special people.  Local car clubs like the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club, Virginia Stockers, Northern Virginia Mustang Club and 610 Cruisers support this event but each year we have “new” folks join us too.  This year we had about 65 vehicles in the crowd ….we all had a lot of fun while we did something good for others.  The weather was nippy & windy but sunny….it was an awesome day. 

This year the Museum allowed us to bring the toys into the Museum unlike last year when we had to drop them off in the parking lot.  It was much better this year.  Some of the folks stayed to take in the quality and mixture of the displays in the museum and others said Merry Christmas to each other and left. 

This will be the last scheduled entry to the blog till the Spring of 2017.  We hope you enjoyed the weekly tales of our hot rod adventures in Virginia….we are planning more for next year!  The Princess & I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a special New Year….