For 98 hours, local radio personality Bo Reynolds from Highway 98 Country will be camping out 40 feet in the air on a scissor lift in the parking lot of Uptown Station. In the name of charity, of course.
Annie Blanks @DestinLogAnnie
FORT WALTON BEACH — For 98 hours, local radio personality Bo Reynolds from Highway 98 Country will camp out 40 feet in the air on a scissor lift in the parking lot of Uptown Station. In the name of charity, of course.
The stunt is part of the station’s annual Bikes or Bust event, which is in its sixth year and seeks to collect bikes and toys for the nearly 10,000 children in need in Okaloosa and Walton counties.
“What kid doesn’t want a bike on Christmas morning?” Reynolds said Thursday morning, just minutes before going up in the scissor lift. “Unfortunately there are 10,000 families in Okaloosa and Walton counties that can’t afford to buy their kids a bike, and so that’s why we came up with Bikes or Bust, and it’s been steadily building every year for six years.”
Reynolds went up on the scissor lift at 10 a.m. and will remain there until noon Monday. He’ll sleep in a tent, use the bathroom in a portable toilet and eat meals raised up to him via a pulley system. He hopes to fill the parking lot beneath him with 1,000 bikes and even more toys.
“We’ll have a 100-plus volunteers in the parking lot, and basically they just make it a big old party,” Reynolds said. “There’s going to be hootin’ and hollerin’ and a bunch of craziness, and the restaurants will feed them as well. A lot of businesses in Fort Walton Beach will come together for this thing and for the kids. It’s really spectacular.”
Ashley Botelho, charity coordinator for Emerald Coast Toys for Tots, said the event brings in thousands of much-needed items each year.
She said in addition to bikes, people could bring new, unwrapped toys for children ages zero to 16. She said the 13-16 age group is usually the most difficult to provide toys for, and for them she recommended people bring fishing poles, sporting equipment and board games.
“[Bikes or Bust] means a lot to our organization. We’ve been around as a foundation since 1947, we’ve been here on the Emerald Coast for around 15 years, and our motto is every child deserves a little Christmas,” Botelho said. “The fact that Highway 98 Country pulls this off every year and is able to allow us to provide that for the children of Okaloosa and Walton counties, it’s unreal.”