JAY/FARMINGTON — The 18th annual WhistleStop ATV Toy Run is Saturday, Sept. 27. Participants should bring a new toy (wrapped to protect from dust) or cash donation and meet at McDonald’s parking lot in Jay at 7:30 a.m. or at the end of the Whistle Stop Trail on the Town Farm Road in Farmington at 9 a.m.

Everyone must register between 8 and 9:45 a.m. Meal tickets will be handed out and raffle tickets will be sold at this time.

The group will leave Farmington at 10 a.m. to ride to Canton and leave the toys, then back to Jay to have a barbecue and to announce raffle winners.

For everyone’s safety please stay together as a group and no horseplay. By law, anyone under 18 must wear a helmet.

The run is organized by the area ATV clubs of Western Maine ATV Club of Jay, the Mountain View ATV Club of Mt. Vernon, Brettuns Wheelers ATV Clubs of Livermore and Canton Trail Riders.

“My biggest thank-you goes to all the ATV riders and volunteers,” said Karen Dalot, secretary for Western Maine ATV Club, “because without you, none of this would be possible.

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“All the toys stay in the area and are distributed through Western Maine Community Action’s Operation Santa Claus,” she added.

Over the past 17 years, the ride has raised $63,619.17 in toys and donations.

It would also not be possible without help from local fire and police departments, as Canton Fire Department provides volunteers for road crossings and Jay Police Department provides an officer to ride with the group and provide traffic control at road crossings.

Another special thank-you goes to the Spruce Mountain Robotics group which will cook and serve for the barbecue and to the Roxbury ATV Club for use of the grills, tents and table and chairs. The Lisbon Hardcore Trail Riders also deserve thanks for all of the efforts they put into collecting toys and donations.

The toy run will go on, rain or shine, so there is no rain date. “Perhaps I should say, rain, shine, hurricane or bitter cold,” Dalot said.

Indeed, one year recently, a hurricane was forecast to affect areas of Maine. It did rain, but not with the hurricane force winds that were predicted. She noted that those who were scared away by the forecast missed a good ride, as there was no dust that year.

In other years, the temperatures dipped to nearly freezing in the morning, which made for an incredibly cold ride, at least until the sun came out to warm things up. Veteran riders know how to dress for every possible weather condition that Maine can throw at them.

Businesses donated a wide variety of items, many of which will be given out as door prizes after the free barbecue. Items include rug cleaner rentals, clothing, gift certificates, hotel stays, food and much more. 


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