Ghost Riders, EHDA come together for early Christmas event

Published 11:03 am Monday, October 31, 2016


Photo Contributed: Members of the Ghost Riders make a toy delivery during their 2015 drive.

Sometimes, in Carter County, another type of Santa likes to trade in his reindeers for a “hog”.
The Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club and Elizabethton Housing Development Agency are partnering once again for their annual Christmas toy drive to benefit children in the EHDA communities.
Each event is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the Elizabethton Wal–Mart.
“We’ve been working with the Ghost Riders now for around 10 years,” EHDA Executive Director Kelly Geagley said. “They’ve been incredible to work with. There’s no way to measure the amount of help the organization gives to our children in the EHDA. I would say we raised $10,000 to $12,000 last year and over the past 10 years they’ve raised over $100,000 to help benefit our children.”
Members of the organization will set up shop outside Wal-Mart each weekend with a canopy. During that time, the motorcyclists will be accepting donations and toys to help children receive an extraordinary Christmas season.
“The Ghost Riders actually approached me about 10 years ago about the drive,” Geagley said. “They talked about the success they’ve had in Johnson City and asked if we wanted to be part of it. It’s been such a tremendous partnership over the years. After collecting all the donations, the members make the delivery to the housing agency.”
The EHDA hosts a Children’s Christmas Party for the youth, including food, beverages, games and a special visit from Santa Claus to pass out the gifts to the children. Members of the Ghost Riders will attend the party and assist with the festivities.
The Riders are a key component of the drive and the legitimacy of the group has been incredible to be part of, Geagley added.
“Since we started, the Ghost Riders have told me they don’t want any recognition,” he said. “I can say that we love having them part of the group. The organization is beyond legitimate. The Ghost Riders put every penny raised back into the toy drive and will actually pay out of their own pockets to make these events a reality.
“There can be coats on sale and they buy everyone one off the rack,” Geagley continued. “Our children have been able to have coats. The Ghost Riders have also been great about stopping by grocery stores like Ingles and Food City and buying gifts and giving these to older residents to make sure they have a great Christmas dinner.”
“We would like to respectfully ask the public to support the Ghost Riders toy drive,” Geagley added. “They are doing these drives to make sure our children have a great Christmas.”
For more information or to make a donation, either visit the Riders tent outside Wal-Mart during the scheduled dates or call the EHDA at (423) 543-3571.

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