Supported by community generosity, surrogate Santas on cycles will again be bringing joy — and toys — to children in a multicounty area this holiday season.
The 34th annual Dagger’s Toy Run, to collect and deliver toys for the Salvation Army’s annual holiday assistance efforts, will be held Saturday, Nov. 12. Registration for motorcycle riders will be held from noon until 1 p.m. in the parking lot of The Grind restaurant (formerly Mayberry’s Restaurant), 1481 MacCorkle Ave., St. Albans (the St. Albans Shopping Center).
Participants can partake of complimentary Krispy Kreme doughnuts before the motorcycle caravan of contributed toys revs up and takes to the road at 2 p.m. to travel to a Salvation Army loading and delivery point.
The Charleston Salvation Army provides services to Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Clay, Logan, and Roane counties. According to Dagger’s Toy Run founder and coordinator Jim (Dagger) Dagostine of South Charleston, last year’s Toy Run netted more than $9,000 in cash donations, as well as 6,800 toys bestowed to 675 families throughout the service area.
To participate in the toy parade, riders are asked to make a $10 donation and contribute a new, unwrapped toy. (Non-riders are encouraged to donate, as well.) Checks can be made payable to the Salvation Army. As well as being accepted onsite, the checks can be mailed to Jim Dagostine, 1019 Ridge Drive, South Charleston, WV 25309.
Visitors will also be able to purchase commemorative Dagger’s Toy Run 34th Anniversary T-shirts for $10 each at the event.
To accept donations prior to the Toy Run, a Salvation Army truck will be stationed at The Grind’s parking lot between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily Tuesday, Dec. 8, through Friday, Dec. 11.
Other toy and check dropoff points include:
• Award-Winning Trophies, 202 Ferry St., Charleston
• Brit Tire & Alignment, 1625 Third Ave., Charleston
• Cenergy Construction, 1763 U.S. 60, Milton
• City National Bank, Eleanor and Winfield branches
• Eagle Research Corporation, 1076 W.Va. 34, Hurricane (Teays Valley)
• Fielder’s Beauty Salon, 736 Central Ave., Charleston
• Fruth Pharmacy, Eleanor, Hurricane, and Teays Valley locations
• Hair Peace, 302 First Ave., S., Nitro
• Kanawha Terrace IGA, 2500 Kanawha Terrace, St. Albans
• Marty’s Tire Store, Charleston (1341 Plaza East) and South Charleston (4404 MacCorkle Ave., S.W.) locations
• Moose Lodge #868, 113 West Main St., St. Albans
• Nitro Electric, 4300 First Ave., Nitro.
Dagostine said the Dagger’s Toy Run began in 1986 when “Jimmy Carr, Frank Frazier, and I thought we’d do something like this for Christmas. We were just three old, dumb country boys who got together, and it’s gotten bigger and better every year.
“The first year, we got 50 or 60 toys and about $50 or $60 in donations.”
Since its first year, Dagger’s Toy Run has raised more than $200,000 and collected more than 200,000 toys.
To receive more details about this year’s Dagger’s Toy Run or to find out more about donating to the cause, contact Jim Dagostine at 304-545-7376 (daytime) and 304-768-2278 (evenings).