Motorcyclists will roar through Canal Winchester in mid-July to raise money for a "Toy Run" to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Lima Company.

Motorcyclists will roar through Canal Winchester in mid-July to raise money for a "Toy Run" to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Lima Company.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Christmas in July Toy Run revs up at 1 p.m. July 17, rain or shine.

The route starts at Joe Carson Harley Davidson and Honda at the corner of U.S. Route 33 and Coonpath Road in Carroll, heads through Canal Winchester on Washington and Groveport roads, and ends at Lima Company's headquarters at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.

Lima Company members and armed forces veterans will lead the ride.

On-site registration runs from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Joe Carson's on the day of the event. All participants must provide a cash donation or new toy.

All donations support Lima Company's Toys for Tots program.

Event founder Rob Muncy told Canal Winchester Village Council last week that the local philanthropic ride is now open to cars as well as motorcycles.

Given Ohio weather, closed vehicles may be welcome, he said.

"Last year was the worst rainstorm I've ever been in," Muncy said. Regardless, the Toy Run still featured 100 vehicles.

"We're thankful to you as a community," he told council members. "Not everyone is as open to a group of motorcyclists coming through their community."

Members of Lima Company recently left central Ohio for training in California before being deployed overseas.

"They are deployed right now," Muncy said.Citing security concerns, Marine Corps officials have not said where Lima Company will be deployed, though Afghanistan or Africa appear to be possible destinations.

In 2005, more than 20 members of Lima Company died in Iraq in a single day, a heartbreaking loss that made the local company one of the hardest-hit Marine units in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We want to give them (Lima Company Marines) the gift of giving this holiday season," Muncy said.

He added that Toy Run participants will be able to view a rarely seen memorial monument at Lima Company Headquarters at the end of the ride."It is not usually open to the public," Muncy said.He noted that the economy may be taking a toll on many residents, but that's precisely why donations of toys are needed more than ever.

"Now it's tough for everybody. I don't know anyone who's having an easy time," he said. "We're trying to make a bigger impact."

Information about the July 17 Toy Run is available by calling (740) 756-1900 or online at joecarsoncycles.com.