Santa’s helpers will be mounting their motorised steeds and taking to the New England Highway again to collect Christmas gifts for the less-fortunate in this year’s toy run.
“Never say ‘never’” should be organiser Wayne Lusty’s creed after saying last year was his final run. He’s back in the coordinating position again, unable to hold back his Toowoomba participants who had already booked their Tenterfield accommodation for the run, keen to be involved.
This the 31st toy run will take place on Saturday, November 25, departing The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School at 11am. Mr Lusty will be at the school from around 9.30am and encourages enthusiasts to come along and meet the bikers and check out their machines, and hopefully contribute to the haul.
The group then rides up the highway to Stanthorpe before returning via Storm King Dam for a rest stop at the Ballandean Tavern and via the Jennings Hotel back to the school.
“There’s always a good collection at Jennings, and it’s very good of them,” Mr Lusty said.
All are welcome at the celebration barbecue at the school from around 1.30pm. Mr Lusty said the ride will proceed rain, hail or shine as will the Lions Club barbecue lunch thanks to the great shelter facilities at the school.
“It’s not unusual for us to depart in fine weather, ride into ‘sunny Queensland’ and get drenched at Ballandean,” Mr Lusty said.
Donations of items suitable as gifts for children aged zero to 16 or 17 would be most appreciated, and Mr Lusty said not to overlook the mums and dads. A donation of cosmetics last year proved very welcome.
“It’s known as a toy run, but we want to look after all the family members in the lower socio-economic zone, and people might be surprised by who is in need, especially at Christmas.
“It’s a great opportunity to give some comfort to them.”
Donations can be left at Regional Australia Bank, Jeff Holland’s, Ten FM, the Commercial Hotel, Jennings Hotel or Ballandean Tavern, brought along on the day or contact Mr Lusty on (02) 6736 4300 or 0428 410 579.
Approximately 40 riders participated last year and Mr Lusty is happen to welcome new participants, keeping in mind that bikes must be registered and riders licensed.
“I don’t see it as charity, I see it as an assist to have a Christmas like we had as kids,” he said.
“Christmas can be hard for many.”