WNC Tractors for Tots’ Tractor Show and Pull Saturday was about more than gathering Christmas toys for children — it was a way for a community to come together during a difficult time.
An estimated 2,500 people turned out to North River Farms in Mills River, at the same time search efforts continued for local resident Tommy Bryson.
President of WNC Tractors for Tots Aaron Martin said the organization spoke with the Bryson family and got their blessing to hold the event as planned.
“It has been very troubling,” Martin said, adding that Bryson’s disappearance has been on the minds of everyone in the community. “We are praying for safety. We are praying for a resolve.”
Jason Davis, owner of North River Farm, said Saturday’s event provided a bit of relief for the community.
“It has been a challenging week for Mills River,” he said. “Our hearts and prayers are with the Bryson family and all involved with the search mission.”
Many people thanked the organization and Davis for still hosting the tractor show and toy drive, he said.
Tractor pulls, games for the kids, vendors, food and live music were offered Saturday. All proceeds go to Toys for Tots. This is the second year for the event.
Toys donated will go to children in nine different counties in Western North Carolina. Boxes and boxes of toys were filled by late Saturday afternoon, and several people made monetary donations, Martin said. The exact amount raised will be known at a later date.
Live music was played Friday night as well, and the performance was dedicated to the Bryson family.
Search WNC Tractors for Tots on Facebook for more information about the organization and how to donate.
Reach Rebecca Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org