The first annual Jasper Jeep Mountain Jam will leave town Saturday for a ride and picnic on the Toccoa River.
Organized through the Pickens Sheriff’s Office, the “fall ride through the mountains” with benefit the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes.
Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig said they had been looking for some kind of unique fundraiser and came upon the idea of a jeep ride based on the popularity of motorcycle ride benefits and interest from jeep clubs.
The sheriff, who has been a strong advocate for the Sheriff Youth Homes since taking office, said his organizing committee had “tried to think outside the box.”
He said the presence of Jasper Jeep here also contributed to the idea.
This year’s event is a one day ride departing at 10 a.m. from Jasper Jeep and proceeding to Suches, Ga. for a picnic on the Toccoa River. Participants can pre-register for the $25-per-Jeep event at www.pickensgasheriff.com.
Sheriff Craig said they have been getting a lot of interest from outside this area among jeep clubs and are considering expanding this next year to a two-day event with off-road rides, vendors and a sales area.
“The Jeep clubs and Jeep folks have been really interested,” he said. “Next year we hope to make this a two-day event.”
Craig said the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes provide a great service to kids across the state at their five campuses. He said the name “Sheriff’s Home” might imply a home for delinquent kids, but that is not the case.
“The bottom-line is these are homes for kids with nowhere else to go,” he said.
He said the Sheriff Homes provide a lifetime commitment to a kid, providing homes and mentoring and support just like parents at a regular home.
“They try to make these as much like my home or your home as they can,” he said. Currently the five homes are serving 60 kids.