Members of the Po Boys Car Club presented Cherokee Shrine Club President Earl Darby with a check on Nov. 21 to be used to help children and their families who are in need.
The $3,000 check was presented by Po Boys Car Club members Mike McCracken, Richard Kearly and Keith Cline. Another check, as well as toys that were collected at the annual Cherokee Senior Softball Association awards banquet, were also presented to Darby by CSSA member, Darby Funeral Home employee and Toys for Kids program founder, Ray Deluca.
Darby and the Cherokee Shriners work in a joint effort with the Hickory Flat Masonic Lodge to evaluate the families and children who are in need of assistance throughout the year as well as Christmas. Last year they worked with 14 schools in the community as well as 731 families.
The Po Boys club has also helped hundreds of families through their fundraising efforts. The club was founded in 1986 by Kearly, who is also an active member of the Cherokee Shriners, served as president of the club. Cline is also a former president of the club. McCracken is the current president.
The club places a major part of its cash donations into Empower Cherokee, an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through employment and social connections with the supports necessary to achieve their dreams. They also support individual families in need.
Their last Saturday cruise-in during October is dedicated to raise money and collect toys. Since its inception, the club has contributed over $250,000, as well as hundreds of toys to children at Christmas.
Greg Hartman was also in attendance for the check and toys presentation. He owns Hartman Cycles in Canton and has recently been inducted into the Cherokee Shrine Club.
He started the Hartman Cycles Toy Run 39 years ago in order to help local families in need of toys and food. The toy run has taken place the first Sunday of each December since its inception. Over the years the original 20 bikes that made the initial run have grown to exceed 1,500 motorcycles.
Riders come from all over Georgia, as well as neighboring states just to be a part of the fundraiser.
Their latest toy run will take place Sunday and will visit two locations.
The only cost to participate in the toy run is to bring two unwrapped new toys, per person, for each location. The run begins at 1 p.m. at the Publix Shopping Center on Ga. Highway 20 in Macedonia. The first stop is the Canton Moose Lodge where the first batch of toys are dropped off. The second stop is at the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce.