Jeep Parade OK’d For Toys For Tots Program Delivery

OCEAN CITY — On the heels of a two-hour plus, often-heated debate on the motorized special events in town, the Mayor and Council on Monday approved a kinder, gentler vehicle-related event.

For over two hours on Monday, the Mayor and Council debated a series of solutions to some of the problems associated with the shoulder season, vehicle-related special events. When that spirited debate was over and it was time to get back to the rather mundane segments of the agenda, one of the first items before the Mayor and Council was a request to allow a parade of Ocean City Jeep Club vehicles to travel down the beach to the Kite Loft at 5th Street and the Boardwalk to deliver toys for the Toys for Tots program. The irony of the situation was not lost on Kite Loft owner Jay Knerr, who presented the concept to the elected officials.

“I have to say my timing in impeccable,” he said. “I’m here to promote a motorized event.”

Knerr explained the Kite Loft, an official drop-off location for the annual Toys for Tots holiday campaign, was partnering with the Ocean City Jeep Club, on a special event that will allow club members to deliver hundreds of toys for the Toys for Tots program to the drop-off location at 5th Street next Sunday, Nov. 19, around 2 p.m.

“We teamed up with the Ocean City Jeep Club, which supports may charities in the community, especially the Toys for Tots program,” he said. “Of course, they like to do everything in style, so what we’re proposing is allowing a parade of around 50 jeeps to drive down the beach from the Inlet to 5th Street to drop off toys at the Kite Loft. The whole thing should be over in about an hour or an hour and a half.”

With little debate, the special events-weary council unanimously approved the request to allow the Ocean City Jeep Club to parade their vehicles down the beach from the Inlet to 5th Street to drop off the toys for the Toys for Tots program on Nov. 19 beginning around 2 p.m.

“I’ve seen the Ocean City Jeep Club do this before for events related to Toys for Tots,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “They have the toys mounted all over the jeeps and drive to the drop-off location. They did one last year at Jolly Roger’s and they do a really nice job with it. It’s a really nice event and really a neat way for them to support the community and for you to support the Toys for Tots program as well.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.