One of the last—if not the last—significant organized go-fast boating events of the season, the annual Toys Tour in Palatka, Fla., is set for December 2-4. The gift-gathering event for children in need has grown during the years since it was founded by the late Rus Matos in 2000, and includes a Friday Fun Run in advance of Saturday’s main event. This time around, Cigarette Racing Team signed to up to sponsor the Friday trek on Dunns Creek for lunch at 3 Bananas restaurant in Crescent City.
Leading off the Toys Tour event next month, Cigarette Racing Friday Fun Run will travel Dunns Creek for a catered lunch. Photo from the 2021 Toys Tour by Walter Braithwaite, Jr./copyright WallyCaptures.
“We are super excited that the iconic brand of Cigarette Racing has stepped up in supporting this year’s Toys Tour” said Walt Braithwaite, the Executive Director of Toys Tour Inc., and the vice president of Velocity Powerboats in Sanford, Fla. “Dunns Creek is a Toys Tour favorite—it’s a unique course with many exciting winding turns.”
Dubbed the Cigarette Racing Friday Fun Run, the event will depart its Riverfront Park home-base in Palatka at noon.
“Cigarette Racing Team is proud to continue supporting this great event,” said Cristina Ruiz, the chief marketing officer for the Opa-Locka, Fla., custom high-performance sportboat and center console builder, which filled the title sponsor role in last week’s Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. “This year we are excited to play an even bigger role in helping underprivileged kids and victims of domestic violence, as the title sponsor of Friday’s Cigarette Racing Fun Run, We’re looking forward to a great turnout.”
Registration for the 2022 Toys Tour is still open, as are sponsorship opportunities. In addition to title sponsor Velocity Powerboats and Cigarette, high-performance marine industry backers include Express Engines, Mercury Racing, Mystic Powerboats and Performance Boat Center.
Donated toys are collected from the participants during the Saturday run. The Putnam County Sheriff Department handles distribution of the hundreds of gifts collected each year.