Horseback riders joined together to make Christmas a little brighter for those in need and enjoyed a day of fellowship in the process.
About 50 riders attended a toy drive Dec. 18 where they collected about 100 toys and $500 in cash donations, said Lauri Tuten of Thomson.
From left Lauri and Joey Tuten, and Gilbert and Charlotte Gonzales unload about 100 toys collected during the Toys for Tots Trail Ride Dec. 18.
Photo by Jerrie Macintire
"Horseback riders are some of the most generous givers of all," according to Mrs. Tuten who hosted the event with Joey Tuten, her husband.
The idea originated with Gilbert and Charlotte Gonzales of Gonzales Horse Training who wanted to help the less fortunate.
Coordinators were pleased with the participation.
"I was surprised at the turnout we had," Mr. Gonzales said.
The group donated the toys Monday afternoon to Agape Ministries and divided the cash donations between Agape and MANNA.
The success of the Toys for Tots Trail Ride this year has inspired the group to offer the event next year during the Christmas season to again bring some cheer to the less fortunate.
"It was a really good feeling," Mr. Gonzales said.
Several individuals and groups helped make the event a success, Mrs. Tuten said: special thanks to Rick McCorkle of Bi-Lo, Glenn Wilson, Epp Wilson and the Belle Meade Hunt, Dennis Johnson, Bill and Lynn Strothers, John Richards, The Moose Club, Kathleen Fervan, Greg Harden and WTHO, Carolyn Gilbert, and all the participants.