Rowan's 3rd annual toy drive continues to honor 7-year-old who died

Rowan's 3rd Annual Toy Drive
Posted at 7:16 AM, Dec 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-03 21:11:26-05

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — A drive-thru toy drive was held Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Mt. Juliet in honor of the seven-year-old, Rowan Frensley, who died in a terrible accident during a Christmas parade in 2019.

"He loved to ride a bicycle and always was outdoors," said Rowan's mother, Jana Frensley.

Donations of toys, coats and non-perishable foods were accepted to help youth in foster care during the holiday season across Wilson County.

People also enjoyed hot chocolate and even saw Santa as they came through the toy drive.

"Doing something like this is important to make yourself feel better and to help others at the same time and I think that's what he would want and that's why we're doing it," said Rowan's father, Art Frensley.

It was hosted at Rutland Place Senior Community.

Rowan's family, the boy scout troop he was in, and community volunteers were there collecting items.

"I think people generally just want to let us know that they do care and just dropping off that toy means that to us because that's what we're all here to do is to try and do something nice," said Jana.

Family friend Tara Armstrong said Rowan's family wants to focus on how he lived, not how he died, and honor that.

"He would be so ecstatic to see how many lives that he's touching and helping," said Armstrong. "He was such a kind sweet-loving boy. He was my son's best friend and I think just being able to help others would bring him a lot of joy."

Last year Rowan's Toy Drive helped about 600 families.

If you would like to donate items, you can contact Jana Frensley at