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Shoebox Ride planned

A local church will hold its eighth annual Shoebox Ride this Saturday to raise money and support for Operation Christmas Child.

Corinth Friends Meeting will hold the event beginning and ending at Somerton Friends Meeting, 5239 Quaker Drive.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that collects gift-filled shoeboxes and delivers and distributes them to poverty-stricken children around the world.

Amanda Smith of Corinth Friends Meeting said her father, Raiford Baker, initially started the event to combine his love for motorcycles and Operation Christmas Child.

“This is a way to combine two things he loves and do some good to help this ministry and support their cause,” Smith said.

“I had this dream of putting together an event to raise money solely for that purpose,” Baker said. “It’s a good thing. It’s for a great cause, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Smith said her family and the church have packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child for years, but the effort has taken off since they started the Shoebox Ride.

The first year, they raised enough money to pack and pay the shipping costs for 40 shoeboxes.

“That was pretty significant for us,” Smith said. “That was the most we’ve ever done.”

In the intervening years, local businesses have come forward to sponsor the event in various ways to allow even more money to go toward the effort. Last year, they sent a whopping 386 shoeboxes.

“We are looking at a goal this year of packing and paying the shipping cost for 400 boxes,” Smith said. “Every year, it’s our goal to do just a few more.”

Smith said the ride attracts between 40 and 80 bikes every year, mostly depending on the weather.

This year’s event will include a ride about an hour and a half in length, followed by lunch catered by Ricky and Roy’s, a live DJ, T-shirts for sale for $12 and more.

An Operation Christmas Child representative will be on site to answer questions about the program, Smith added.

No pre-registration is taken, so folks can just show up on Saturday morning and sign up for the ride.

Registration is from 9 to 10 a.m., with the ride departing at 10:30 a.m. and returning by noon. Lunch and door prize drawings will be held after the ride. Visit www.shoeboxride.com or call 618-1949 for more information.