By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
MOUNT VERNON - It was perfect weather Saturday for the 2nd annual Memorial Toy Ride to honor Officer Thomas Cottrell, who was killed in the line of duty in January of 2016. The motorcycle ride began at Mid-Ohio Suzuki on Harcourt Road. The riders left Mid-Ohio and rode to Wilson Cemetery in Newark where a recognition cermony was to be held for Officer Cottrell. From there the route ended ended back in Mount Vernon at The Station Break on Howard Street.
Participants were asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or $20 per bike. All donations benefit the Salvation Army of Mount Vernon.
The event is supported by the Knox County FOP Lodge 147. Lodge president Sgt. Wayne Noggle of the Knox County Sheriff's Office said, "Tom [Cottrell] was big into helping kids. Tom really was involved in a lot of baseball, softball...kid activitites."
Noggle told KnoxPages.com that the FOP wants to make sure kids in Knox County don't go without things at Christmas that they need or want. "If we put a smile on one kid's face, this whole ride [will be] worth it," said Noggle.
Sgt. Wayne Noggle of the KCSO and FOP, left, and Lt. Christine Baker of the Mount Vernon Salvation Army with some of the toys donated following Saturday's Toy Ride - KnoxPages.com photo by Marty Trese
The money raised will help some 800 children and 200 families in the Mount Vernon/Knox County area receive toys and a Christmas dinner food basket.
Lt. Christine Baker of the Salvation Army says 100% of the donations to the Toy Ride will stay in Knox County. She said, "The Salvation Army works hard every year to service those in need who otherwise would go without a Christmas. We're very thankful for this ride and the sponsorships and the help that comes in ..this is the army behind the [Salvation] Army, people that give and volunteer and help us."
To view more photos of the event visit our KnoxPages Facebook page.