‘This year the convoy is saluting the men and women in blue and our first responders.’

Katy Ishee

 

Toy Convoy, set for Nov. 1, will honor the men and women working for law enforcement. The event gives a chance to people to donate toys and brighten Christmas for local children. The toys will be distributed through Manchester Police Department, Steve Graves and Gene Taylor Christmas Foundation and Wartrace Fire Department.

“In the midst of all the sad stories in Manchester the past few weeks, here is a story that really will have a happy ending,” said Katy Ishee, organizer of the event. “Hundreds of vehicles from across the South are coming to Manchester to join the 24th Highway 41 Toy Convoy that rolls Sunday, Nov 1. Lineup begins at the Raiders Academy at 10 a.m. and we roll at noon with a police escort.”

After the convoy leaves the school on Hwy 55, vehicles will go north on Hwy 41 to Beech Grove, and then travel west on Hwy 64 to Wartrace, said Ishee.

“This year the convoy is saluting the men and women in blue and our first responders,” Ishee said. “The Nashville Pharaohs are coming along with a few other car clubs. The Ridge Runners and US Jeep Association will also be joining the convoy. This is the most patriotic event in the area and a long-time tradition that all vehicles fly the American flag. It was something to see last year, as cars pulled off the highway, got out and saluted as we went by.”

Ishee said “all vehicles, large and small are welcome.”

She expects police officers from the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Manchester Police Department, Tullahoma Police Department, Wartrace Police Department, Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, Shelbyville Police Department and Lynchburg Police Department to join the convoy.

Several fire trucks will also be joining the convoy, she added.

Participants will have a chance to enjoy entertainment.

“Virgil T, Uncle Tom and Toby, will be rocking the convoy during door prize giveaways,” she said. “Santa will be on hand to visit with the children. Bring the family out for a day of fun. If you can’t make the convoy, you can drop off your toys at Custom Auto & Rod Shop (C.A.R.S., 807 McArthur St., Manchester)…Shonna Harrison, lead rocker of the former Heart Tribute Band Little Queen will be singing the National Anthem acapella.”

Ishee thanked all who made organizing the event possible. 

“One couple, Fran and Billy Eley, Hillsboro residents, have collected toys all year,” Ishee said. “They are bringing over 1,200 toys. We expect this to be the largest toy convoy we’ve had in years. I’ve had people reaching out to me since March, and that is highly unusual.”

Admission fee is $10 per vehicle and $20 to show. A car/motorcycle/jeep/truck show will be held.

“You will get 10 tickets toward the door prize drawings we have that will be going on all day,” she said. “Once we recoup our expenses, the rest will go back toward next year’s expenses and toys for the teens…The convoy is donating a Norway Spruce Christmas tree that will be planted on the square in Wartrace. This year, we will decorate it in red white and blue.

 “I want to thank all the good people and the businesses in Manchester, Tullahoma, Lynchburg, Shelbyville, and Wartrace who have helped make this convoy possible and for your support over the years.”

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